27 May, Kazushi Asami

文字数 4,082文字

A Wavering Shadow


Her partner had gone out to buy lunch.
  Sitting in her car, Tōko Kisaragi turned her attention to the house up ahead.
  Tokyo had lifted its state of emergency two days earlier. But there were barely any pedestrians out in this residential area, situated next to a quiet park.
  It was Tōko and her partner’s job to locate the subject of their investigation. The man suspected of robbery may be hiding at the home of an acquaintance while the residents are out. She had to confirm whether that was indeed the case.
  As she continued her stakeout, something caught her attention. A can of candy drops sat in a flower bed in front of the apartment building. She got out of the car and had started toward it when she heard a voice behind her.
  “Excuse me, that’s mine.”
  Tōko turned around and saw a young woman standing there, wearing a blue cardigan and an airy flared skirt and a brown backpack hanging over her back.
  “Oh, I’m sorry,” Tōko said, lowering her head. “Did you leave this here?”
  “It’s a camera.”
  “A camera?”
  “Are you familiar with pinhole photography? I’ve been taking pictures around the park since yesterday. . . .”
 She showed Tōko one of her photographs. It was a subdued black and white image with the tone of a charcoal drawing. There was a shadow of a person on the ground, but for some reason, the outline of the figure wasn’t clear.
  “That’s me. I took a picture of myself since there was no one around,” the woman said as she narrowed her eyes. “A long exposure captures subjects moving slowly like that. The wavering image looks magical, doesn’t it?”
  “Uh . . . can I see your other photos?”
 Tōko looked at the photos the woman said she had taken the previous evening. Among them, she found a decisive image. A shadow stood at the window of the apartment she was staking out. The shadow must have been looking outside a few times. It was blurred.
  “He’s at that apartment after all!” Tōko flashed her police identification. “I’m with the First Investigation Division, Metropolitan Police Department. Thank you for your cooperation.”
  Although the woman was surprised to see Tōko’s identification, she appeared to pull herself together.
  “You’ve got it tough, working at a time like this,” she said in a low voice. “I feel claustrophobic every day and it’s so depressing. I hope things will soon be back to normal.”
  Tōko nodded her agreement and looked at the photo again. The city scene with no pedestrians gave her a sense of loneliness.
  She thought about a senior detective who had a love of photography.
  

I

wonder

if

he

knows

about

pinhole

photography?


  She began to call in with her report from a corner in the deserted city.
  No matter the state of the world, investigations had to be conducted calmly, steadily. That’s the role of a detective, she told herself.


Translated by Eriko Sugita/Arranged by TranNet KK

Kazushi Asami
Born in Chiba Prefecture, 1965. Graduated from Rikkyo University's College of Arts. Made his debut in 2006 with

Vesariusu

no

hitsugi

(The coffin of Vesarius) for which he won the 16th Ayukawa Tetsuya Award. Received popular acclaim for

Ishi

no

mayu:

Keishichō

satsujin

bunseki

han

(Metropolitan police department murder analysis team: Stone cocoon), depicting the life of rookie detective Tōko Kisaragi, the book was later adapted into a TV drama by WOWOW, along with other works in the series including

Suishō

no

kodō

(Beat of the crystal) and

Chō

no

rikigaku

(Dynamics of the butterfly). Other TV adaptations include

Tokusō

7:

Jūdan

(Special investigation section 7: Bullet) in 2016 and

Keishichō

bunsho

sōsa-kan

(Metropolitan police department document investigator), released as

Mikaiketsu

no

onna:

Keishichō

bunsho

sōsa-kan

(Metropolitan police department document investigator: The unsolved woman) in 2018. A fresh energetic face in the world of mystery literature, expectations are high for his future endeavors.

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