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Shinjuku Shark (Shinjuku Shark #1)

3.37  ·  Rating Details ·  155 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
A serial cop-killer is running rampant in Tokyo's Shinjuku ward and only one man has the connections and the courage to find and stop him -- The Shark. Filled with volatile characters, each wiht his own unique ties, Shinjuku Shark is a masterpiece of nonstop tension.

Arimasa Osawa is one of Japan's leading hardboiled novelists, influenced by American authors such as Elmore
Paperback, 285 pages
Published January 8th 2008 by Vertical (first published January 1st 1990)
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(showing 1-30 of 342)
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Feb 15, 2008 Paul rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 15, 2015 Bettina rated it liked it
Shelves: crime, japan
Detective Samejima verfolgt die Fährte des ebenso gerissenen wie genialen Waffenhändlers Kazu, der illegal Waffen und Spezialanfertigungen baut und verkauft. Immer näher kommt er ihm und steht kurz davor, dessen Wohnsitz ausfindig zu machen. Da wird in Shinjuku auf zwei Polizisten geschossen und die Polizei zieht viele Beamte zusammen, um den Täter dingfest zu machen. Auch Samejima soll dazu geholt werden. Doch der weigert sich, um Kazu nicht zu verlieren. Ein zweiter Angriff auf Polizisten vers ...more
Lisabet Sarai
Aug 10, 2014 Lisabet Sarai rated it liked it
The Tokyo Police Department is all about hierarchy, bureaucracy and saving face. Unspoken but well understood rules govern the officers' interactions with one another, and with the different Yakuza gangs who carve up the turf of the city and terrorize the ordinary citizens.

Detective Samejima isn't willing to set aside justice for convenience or for power. Because of this, he's a loner, a social outcast, within the department. He knows too many secrets about too many people to be fired, but no o
May 15, 2015 Candiebarr rated it really liked it
I both liked and disliked this book. As mentioned above, there’s gayness. whole first chapter was. Although I didn’t realize it until near the end of the chapter. But I’ve got no complaints about that. Especially when Semejima and Kizu were together. So, the reason I didn’t like it? It seemed to start out slow. It may have just been me, but it just felt like it was slow. As for the characters, I got more of a personality from “Ed” than I did the main characters. They all just seemed very cookie ...more
Rob Kitchin
Aug 07, 2012 Rob Kitchin rated it it was ok
Shinjuku Shark is the first novel in the bestselling Japanese crime series and winner of the Japan Mystery Writers Association Award. Over his career Arimasa Osawa has won numerous prizes and his writing has been adapted for the big and small screen. The back of the book blurb states, “Prepare for a relentless journey of suspenseful twists and turns that will leave you breathless.” Given all the plaudits I was expecting a terrific read. Unfortunately the book did not leave me in a state of suspe ...more
Mar 13, 2012 Sophia rated it liked it
Shelves: japan, mystery, 2012
Shinjuku Shark is the first installment of a best-selling series in Japan which might have lost something in translation. Most notably, it was originally written in 1990, but not available in English until 2007. Thus the dated references to clunky cell phones and heightened concerns of leftist extremist groups as lone-wolf Inspector Samejima (aka the Shinjuku Shark for his unorthodox ways of pursuing justice) goes about his investigations. Meanwhile, the rest of the Shinjuku police station is ca ...more
Dec 27, 2008 Michael rated it it was ok
I have read dozens of foreign police procedural-type mystery novels - here by "foreign" I mean written by foreign authors writing primarily for an audience in their home country that are later translated (if necessary) and also published in the U.S.

Shinjuku Shark is a Japanese police detective novel, the first in a series, set in Tokyo. Samejima, the main character, is a loner who doesn't follow the rules and as a result can't even find a partner.

Samejima is such a loner that he is the only ch
Jun 20, 2011 Alibiserver rated it it was ok
From the first, the first thing that you'd glamour about Shinjuku shark is its slick cover. I had no doubt that this is prolly one of the best covers I graced upon- a snapshot of a streetscene in Tokyo. The prose however, leaves a lot of room for improvement.

I have to admit that the first one may contain a lot of screwups but also, the first one in a series must supposed to contain the initial spark to jumpstart a series. Shinjuku shark deals with a lot of responsibilities and I have to admit An
Planet of the Books
Apr 03, 2008 Planet of the Books rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Young Adults, Mystery, Crime fans
Do you like books that are fast paced, thrilling and still thought provoking? Shinjuku Shark by Arimasa Osawa is a great book recently released by Vertical Publishing that has it all. The title of the book refers to the story's main character, a Tokyo cop in the Shinjuku district who doesn't play by the rules. When a serial killer targeting cops is on the loose, Shinjuku must negotiate between his own way of getting the job done and dictates from Headquarters. This is the first book of a widely ...more
Court Merrigan
Feb 26, 2014 Court Merrigan rated it it was ok
Pretty unremarkable. Too many coincidences and the writing, which no doubt lost something in the translation, maintains a flat tone that doesn't do much in the way of tension. There are also numerous asides about gun cartridges, the structure of the Japanese police, etc., that detract from the narrative flow and are really only of interest if you are already interested in such things. Wouldn't put it high on anyone's list.
Feb 27, 2016 Tenma rated it really liked it
Shelves: japan
"Shinjuku Shark" is the first novel in a series that talk about the career of a detective in the shinjuku prescient of Japan. These novels represent, what I find, a rare genre in Japanese fiction. While billed as crime thrillers, they are action packed ... With lots of non gory violence typical in hardboiled police action novels. I did not find this novel dated as some of the reviews pointed out (except for the fact the the novel was published at a time when cellphones were not common) ...

Apr 02, 2010 Mike rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
Although I only stayed in Shinjuku on one trip to Japan, most of the high-density sections of the city evoke a similar sensation. The book brought home for me the rhythm and and flavor of the city and its nightlife.

I think the average rating does not do the author, translator, and book justice. I can see how it began a line of popular crime novels that (apparently) continues strong today, more than a decade later. Granted the novel is rough around the edges, but I suspect it intends to shock th
Jul 30, 2012 Anna rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of crime and noir that is located somewhere exotic
Shelves: bookcrossing, 2012
Osawa is a popular crime writer in Japan. Shinjuku Shark is the first of his books with detective Samejima, and he's trying to find a rampant cop killer in Shinjuku, a bad area of Tokyo. There are familiar elements to all the detective and crime stories (as Osawa's series is said to have been influenced e.g. by Elmore Leonard), but it's still refreshingly different. The location, from how the people act and do to how everything smells to all the small little customs of Japanese (and Shinjuku.. a ...more
Aug 31, 2008 Ad_blankestijn rated it liked it
Not many Japanese crime novels make it to English translations. This one, a hunt for a master gun maker responsible for police killings, is decent but not earth-shattering. The most interesting aspect is the relation between maverick detective Samejima, the "lonely shark," and his colleagues from the police department, who in conformist group society Japan (at least 17 years ago when the book was written) employ ostracism and even open hostility to get rid of the "nail that sticks out." See my r ...more
Jun 16, 2009 Hilary rated it really liked it
Shelves: asian, mystery
It took me forever to get into this book - it seemed to take forever for the plot and action to kick into gear, but it was pretty compelling once it did. There was a lot of explanation of police structure in Japan, which I found kind-of boring, but others might actually enjoy. There were some elements which made the plot rather confusing until you got closer to the end - you were just as confused as the police detective about who was who and who was doing what, even though you, the reader, had m ...more
Paul Heaton
May 07, 2013 Paul Heaton rated it really liked it
I'm not sure what all the two star reviews are about, Shinjuku Shark is an all-round excellent crime novel. Osawa knows his turf, knows the ins and outs of the the Japanese police force and most importantly knows how to craft an exciting narrative that doesn't follow any obvious trajectory. As gripping as all the sections with Samejima and his manhunt are, the chapters which follow 'Ed' the deluded police fanatic/hoaxer were most memorable. I was hooked all the way through, the novel doesn't dra ...more
Jan 13, 2009 Tuck rated it did not like it
don't bother. i love japanese noir and some fiction. this is neither. author has won lots of prizes for his writing, but i think it may be analogous to nora roberts (though i haven't read any of her books, i figured she has probably won some awards too, the odds alone)
Apr 16, 2008 Moey rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Moey by: no one
I'm not usually a detective or mystery book reader, but I loved this book. I love Japan and know Shinjuku so I bought it. It was worth it too, it was fast paced and fun. it was also interesting to see how the Japanese cops and detectives work.
I'd recommend it.
Sep 07, 2008 Donna rated it really liked it
Recommended to Donna by: Joaquin
great crime novel set in japan. this book was translated from japanese into english. there are some sentences where you have to re-read due to how it is translated. i can't wait to read the next book in this series.
Richard Janzen
Jul 27, 2011 Richard Janzen rated it liked it
Older book that has a somewhat stereotypical mavorick detective who does things his own way, trying to solve the big mystery that the force can't solve. Enjoyable read, but nothing special. Nov 08
Feb 25, 2012 Sae-chan rated it it was ok
Shelves: japanese-writers
Hard to differentiate this with western thriller. I couldn't care less about the characters, except maybe for Momoi-san.
Dave Shar
It was a fun read, and also an intense mystery story
May 27, 2008 Tom rated it liked it
not bad mystery but i've seen better
Feb 25, 2008 Pam marked it as to-read
Shelves: japan-mystery
02/25/08 rec via bookmooch
ChibiBaka rated it really liked it
Sep 25, 2016
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Sep 06, 2016
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Aug 19, 2016
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The 12th president of the Mystery Writers of Japan (2005-2009)

Arimasa Osawa has received the Eiji Yoshikawa New Writer Award, the Japan Myster Writers Association Award, and the Naoki Prize for his Shinjuku Shark novels. Many of his other hardboiled works have also been awarded prizes and adapted to the screen.
More about Arimasa Osawa...

Other Books in the Series

Shinjuku Shark (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Shinjuku Shark 2: The Poison Ape (Shinjuku Shark)
  • Shikabane-ran: Shinjukuzame III : Chōhen keiji shosetsu
  • Chōhen Keiji Shōsetsu, Mugen Ningyō: Shinjukuzame. Iv
  • 炎蛹 (新宿鮫, #5)
  • 氷舞 (新宿鮫, #6)
  • 灰夜 (新宿鮫, #7)
  • Shinjukuzame: fūka suimyaku
  • 狼花 (新宿鮫, #9)
  • 絆回廊 新宿鮫X
  • 鮫島の貌 新宿鮫短編集 (新宿鮫, #11)

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