After reading Takagi’s first novel, The Tattoo Murder Case (my review here), I am somewhat disappointed in The Informer. My biggest complaint is that I read 91 pages of setup before the murder. It was not wasted, he did introduce all the players and we got to know their strengths and weaknesses. But…91 pages?
There is more telling than showing, as was the case for writers in 1965 when the book came out. The translation by Sadako Mizugughi failed to capture the right English phrasing for the story. It was somewhat stilted and archaic.
The main storyline had Shigeo Segawa becoming a spy to get the secret of a new product being developed by the family-owned company of his former best friend Shoichi Ogino. Along the way, Segawa had many twists and turns. When the police began investigating Ogino’s murder, Segawa was a chief suspect.
The author gave us several suspects but failed to give us the one clue we needed to solve the case. In fairness, the police did not have the clue either.
All things considered, it was a good read. I was never tempted to put it down like the several other books waiting for me to try again.