Nishimura is a seasoned pickpocket, weaving through Tokyo's crowded streets, in search of potential targets. He has no family, no friends, no connections . . . But he does have a past, which finally catches up with him when his old partner-in-crime reappears and offers him a job he can't refuse. Suddenly, Nishimura finds himself caught in a web so tangled and intricate that even he might not be able to escape.
Taut, atmospheric and cool, The Thief will steal your breath away.
Fuminori Nakamura was born in 1977 and graduated from Fukushima University in 2000. In 2002, he won the prestigious Shincho Newcomer's Award for his first novel, A Gun, and in 2005 he won the Akutagawa prize for The Boy in the Earth. The Thief, winner of the 2009 Oe Prize, Japan's most important literary award, is his first novel to be published in English.
A masterpiece in miniature . . . wonderfully deft . . . The Thief seems destined to become a landmark thriller. — Daily Mail
An intelligent, compelling and surprisingly moving tale, and highly recommended. — Laura Wilson, The Guardian
Nakamura's achievement is to dovetail the various elements in the most adroit of fashions, producing a mesmeric piece of crime fiction and a cold-eyed meditation on modern society in which predatory human nature is accepted as the norm. And the author's fatalistic tone is rounded off with a devastatingly surprising end. — The Independent
Nakamura is a name to watch. — Daily Mirror
Japanese fiction is the new Scandicrime - and if The Thief is anything to go by, it is apparently just as dark and plentiful. A detective story told from the other side of the fence, brilliantly spun in the narrative voice of a skilled pickpocket. — The Pulse
Beautifully written and elegantly crafted. — The Lady
A psychological thriller that will grip your imagination from the very first page. — Crime Ficton Lover
A meditation on what it is like to be alone and on the nature of fate and free will, and featuring a lead character who would look at home in a 19th century Russian novel.' — Big Issue
The Thief is a swift piece of crime noir, surprisingly light on grit but weighted by existential dread. It's simple and utterly compelling - great beach reading for the deeply cynical. If you crossed Michael Connelly and Camus and translated it from Japanese. — Grantland
Nakamura is one of the most award-winning young guns of Japanese hard-boiled detective writing . . . his award-winning novel The Thief does for Japanese fiction what John Woo did for Chinese film-making: bringing the darker side to a [western] audience. — Daily Beast
A mystery novel more in the tradition of Dostoevsky than Agatha Christie . . . Fuminori Nakamura's noir transforms from a mood piece into a chilling philosophical thriller. — Wall Street Journal
It's the combination of thoughtful, noir-tinged character piece with punchy, well-plotted thriller that puts The Thief ahead of the pack. — Glasgow Herald