Tokyo: Kodansha, 1987. 213p., pocketbook format, very good in wraps. Text in Japanese. Kodansha Novels series.
A murder mystery inspired by AIDS. Author says he has been interested in AIDS and doing research about it since the time when AIDS was "a fire on the river’s opposite bank" (someone else’s problem with no implications on oneself), and had planned to write a mystery about AIDS, but contrary to the author’s expectations, AIDS has landed on Japan even earlier than anyone thought. Author (who is reporter turned lawyer and then mystery novelist from Osaka –won Edogawa Ranpo award in 1972) says he has written it with the groundless clamor over AIDS in Japan in mind. Plot description on back: A former 'soapland girl' (women who work in quasi-prostitution, all-but-intercourse sex
service industries), a beautiful model, and a married woman who has started turning tricks are killed one after another. Red letters spelling "AIDS" are found at the crime scenes. The murder weapon is a guitar string - is the culprit the rock guitarist Jakuchu? What are the surprising facts that Jakuchu’s girlfriend Rikako and the lawyer Oizumi unravel? A vividly written courtroom mystery about the intricacies of AIDS and love.