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Winner of the 2010 Oe Prize, Japan
The Thief is a seasoned pickpocket. Anonymous in his tailored suit, he weaves in and out of Tokyo crowds, stealing wallets from strangers so smoothly sometimes he doesn’t even remember the snatch. Most people are just a blur to him, nameless faces from whom he chooses his victims. He has no family, no friends, no connections.... But he does have a past, which finally catches up with him when Ishikawa, his first partner, reappears in his life, and offers him a job he can’t refuse. It’s an easy job: tie up an old rich man, steal the contents of the safe. No one gets hurt. Only the day after the job does he learn that the old man was a prominent politician, and that he was brutally killed after the robbery. And now the Thief is caught in a tangle even he might not be able to escape.
“Nakamura's prose is cut-to-the-bone lean, but it moves across the page with a seductive, even voluptuous agility. I defy you not to finish the book in a single sitting.” –Richmond Times Dispatch
“His grasp of the seamy underbelly of the city is why Nakamura is one of the most award-winning young guns of Japanese hardboiled detective writing.” –Daily Beast
“Fascinating. I want to write something like The Thief someday myself.”–Natsuo Kirino, bestselling author of Edgar-nominated Out and Grotesque
“Disguised as fast-paced, shock-fueled crime fiction, Thief resonates even more as a treatise on contemporary disconnect and paralyzing isolation.”–Library Journal
“I was deeply impressed with The Thief. It is fresh.”–Kenzaburo Oe, Nobel Prize—winning author of A Personal Matter
“Nakamura’s memorable antihero, at once as believably efficient as Donald Westlake’s Parker and as disaffected as a Camus protagonist, will impress genre and literary readers alike.”–Publishers Weekly
“Compulsively readable for its portrait of a dark, crumbling, graffiti-scarred Tokyo–and the desire to understand the mysterious thief.”–Booklist