When President Nomura, head of a small private university in southern Japan, is found in his office with his throat cut, the quiet provincial town of Fujikawa comes alive with conspiracy and secrets. Darkness and deceit begin to rise to the surface, shattering the everyday façade of peace and conformity.

The title of this novel, All These Perfect Strangers, is so apt. On first glance everyone conforms to the Japanese way of life, including ex-pats, but there is only a slim thread holding them together and once that thread is severed, then friends and colleagues turn out to be strangers after all, despite their perfect behaviour. That’s all I’ll say for now as I don’t want to reveal anything of the plot. Being set in Japan makes the novel all the more interesting, as the reader learns about the country, its people and the way of life. I’ve never been to Japan but Ms Clifford paints such a vivid picture that I felt I was there, sweating with the heat and constrained by the customs of the character’s lives. A fascinating, multi-faceted, murder mystery.

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Click on the cover to go to the Amazon book page.

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