Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Devotion of Suspect X - Chapter 3

First a mea culpa: it turns out that Misato is the stepdaughter of our recently bereaved Togashi, not his true daughter. Not sure why I missed that in chapter one, but I did. Anyway, onwards to

Chapter 3

..being a short chapter mostly intended to introduce our main characters. It's March 11th and we find ourselves not in the company of Yasuko and Ishigawa, but with two men sitting by a chess board in an ununsed classroom at the physics department of Teito University. One, winning the game and radiating contented smugness as a result, is none other than Prof. Yukawa, physicist, master sleuth and all-around hero in this series of books. The other, Kusanagi, is not winning, and radiating irritated bafflement as a result. When he is not losing at chess he is a detective at the Tokyo Metropolitan Police.

To nobody's surprise, Kusanagi gets called away as a body has been found at the bank of Edogawa river. The body (no prices for guessing who) has no clothes, a smashed-in head and burnt-away fingerprints. Nearby the victims' clothes are found, partially burned, along with an abandoned bicycle.

After some traditional police banter with their boss at the station, Kusanagi and his younger partner Kishitani are ordered to contact the bicycle owner (remember, bikes are actually registered here) to see what they can dig up. Not much, it turns out; on the 10th of March the owner had parked it near a station and found it gone when coming back. Other than that, nothing much seems to be gleaned from this whole episode.

We quickly jump forward as the police proceed to canvas the area and plaster the media with drawings and descriptions of the unknown victim, with no result. Only after they've searched flophouses and cheap inns for missing tenants do they finally find a place missing a tenant since the 11th. The name in the register is Shinz┼Ź Togashi. The hunt is on...

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