I admit that I cannot get enough of Mr. Matsumoto Seicho’s so-called mystery novels.
Though not much is read in Korea, I do have a full collection of all his books that have been published since mid-2000s. And I am a huge fan.
All of his pieces focus on people rather than their deeds. Therefore the story behind committed crimes are repeatedly highlighted, as if he’s trying to acquit people.
Anyway, his latest book in Korea — He passed away in 1992 — is the 絢爛たる流離.
You could perhaps called it a flamboyant current.
The book is a compilation of 12 stories surrounding a three-carat diamond ring. But the ring does not appear as the main subject of any of the stories. The stories investigate and probe the instinct, desire and lust of people.
Two of the stories follow the Japanese imperial military men who had unlawfully dominated Korea between 1910-1945. It was interesting to observe then Korea through the eyes of Japanese people. Seicho himself had worked at Jeongeup, North Jeolla Province, right before Japan had defeated the Pacific War, and his experience is perhaps reflected in the story.
I am already a big, big fan of Seicho himself and I have enjoyed every bit of the story. In fact, this book has challenged me to recap his other books.
So, if you ever get to find the book, “현란한 유리 (絢爛たる流離),” just jump in. I am all for it.