Unknown Male
Nicolás Obregón

Book cover image

Narrated By: Saul Reichlin

Duration: 11 hours and 14 minutes

What to expect

Brought to you be Penguin.

'Masterpiece' - Jeffery Deaver

He is a completely unremarkable man.

Who wears the same black suit every day.

Boards the same train to work each morning.

And arrives home to his wife and son each night.

But he has a secret.

He likes to kill people.

With just weeks to go before the Olympics and the world's eyes firmly fixed on Tokyo the body of young British student, Skye Mackintosh, is discovered in a love hotel.

Tokyo's Homicide Department are desperate for a lead. As a last resort they enlist the help of a brilliant former detective whose haunted personal life has forced him into exile thousands of miles away.

But it isn't long before Kosuke Iwata discovers the darkness in the neon drenched streets as Skye, like so many others, had her own secrets.

Lies and murder haunt a city where old ghosts and new whisper from its darkest of corners and the truth is always just out of sight

Praise for Nicolás Obregón:

'I'm awestruck' - A. J. Finn

'A dark, brutal ride' - Anthony Horowitz


Crime and mystery: hard-boiled crime, noir fiction, Modern and contemporary fiction, Crime and mystery: police procedural, Psychological thriller, Political / legal thriller, Espionage and spy thriller

Listen to a sample

Japan-set noir doesn't get any darker or more twisted than this

Sunday Times Crime Club

The plotting is impressively done. It's a brilliant novel and a fitting end to a brilliant trilogy

NB Magazine

Obregón is the most atmospheric of writers and evokes local landscapes and moods with diamond-like as well as dreamy precision and the three simultaneous plots advance with clockwork-like and relentless efficiency and won't allow the reader a moment's respite. A stunning achievement that should raise the author's profile to crime's Premier league or there is no justice in this world

Crime Time, Book of the Month

An outstanding novel from start to finish, possibly the best book I've read this year. An entrancing thriller that lures you into the dark secrets of the neon streets of Tokyo. Riveting

The Courier, Book of the Week

Praise for Nicolás Obregón


Harrowing and gripping. An astute police procedural . . . Switching between LA, Mexico and Tokyo both Iwata's present and past are cleverly interwoven in a truly heart-rending climax

Daily Express

Fresh and convincing . . . the dialogue is worthy of the great chronicler of LA's dark side, Raymond Chandler. But really, Obregon's writing has a unique flavour all of its own, wherever his books are set

Sunday Express

Sins as Scarlet is a searing LA crime story, as poetic as it is brutal, as tender as it is disturbing

Tim Weaver

Thanks to the excellent Iwata, you get a gripping mystery with a real conscience

Sunday Sport

In the heady tradition of Raymond Chandler and Michael Connelly, Sins as Scarlet lays bare the bruised heart and broken soul of Los Angeles. Extraordinary stuff: a diabolically clever police procedural, a wrenching character study, and a merciless chronicle of a city in decay. I'm awestruck.


A dark, brutal ride through the underbelly of LA


Masterpiece - that's the only way to describe Sins as Scarlet. Obregón's brilliant novel is, at once, a classic noir, a psychological thriller and a riveting examination-sometimes dark, sometime moving to the point of tears--of life in a less-than-angelic Los Angeles


Evocative, perceptive writing

Sunday Time Crime Club

This bleak, richly descriptive and haunting thriller walks of the wild side of Los Angeles

Peterborough Telegraph

A brace of cutting-edge themes are threaded into the abrasive narrative . . . It is a combustible mix, but as in the earlier Blue Light Yokohama, the author has the full measure of his difficult material. With his vividly evoked Mexican and LA settings [he] delivers a pacey, page-turning thriller, but the underlying seriousness gives real texture. Iwata is a richly drawn, conflicted hero, and this is another savage journey into the dark heart of America

Barry Forshaw, Financial Times

Obregón keeps the unpredictable plot of Sins As Scarlet churning with myriad surprises that are grounded in believability