The Tattoo Murder Case, Akimitsu Takagi, Soho Press Inc, 1998, 324 pp
I read this for a reading group and was underwhelmed, though I found out that Takagi is one of Japan's most respected crime writers.
I did learn much about tattoos as a forbidden Japanese art form, especially full body tattoos which are stripped from dead bodies and curated in museums. Even more interesting to me was a look at Japanese society in the years just following WWII.
However the writing was abysmal and the form seemed such a pale imitation of western mystery writers. Possibly the translation was partly at fault. I finished the book because I always do and because I had to discuss it with other readers, but I was alternately bored or laughing at the lame writing all the way through.
(This book is available in paperback by special order from Once Upon A Time Bookstore.)