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    Gritty, raw, suspenseful thriller noir

    Suspense, intrigue and poignant darkness mark Obregon's latest novel. In an ironic twist of fate, the protractor Iwata now resides in LA, the city of Angels. Tormented by past demons he immerses himself in the mundane work of a PI in an attempt to heal. It appears he is getting there when he is approached to find his wife's sister Meredith Nichols. After Blue Light Yokohama (BLY), one did wonder what more would Obregon throw at Iwata. His wife's sibling though is an unexpected surprise. As in BLY, a subtle undercurrent runs throughout the tale, a hint that there is more to Iwata's torment than meets the eye. He doesn’t seem to be living life to the full. Unable to escape his ever-present past, the job opens up old wounds. One has insights into Iwata's past, his childhood itself, things he had buried deep in his psyche and forgotten. They surface as he grapples with them in an effort to keep his sanity and stop himself from unravelling completely. This is a 400 page long rattlesnake, sinuous, twisty with huge doses of the psychotic. The characters in this story have many deep, dark secrets, full of violence, death and illicit acts. Going nowhere quickly with the investigation Iwata is forced to make an unusual decision. Prepare to step into the darkness of Iwata's mind, his anguish as he encounters LA's seedy underworld. Yet again Obregon obligingly indulges his readers with a thought provokingly devious read. One is grateful for his expert artistry as he delicately melds his characters persona, their purposes and the logic. He continues what he subtly started in Blue Light Yokohama when one barely realised his intent. Both novels however can be read as standalones, further attesting to his penmanship. However having read the first one would be keen to read the second and vice versa. One appreciates Sins as Scarlet so much more; glad to be there with Iwata in the ride of his life, rooting for him hoping this damaged soul finds the peace he so desperately craves, no needs, to start living. This is a heartrendingly beautiful read, taut, deeply immersive and sensual. Can a dark psychotic read beguile a reader? One leaves it to the reader to discover. Obregon's unique protagonist is a welcome addition to this genre. One would like to see Iwata again, to see how he develops and grows. Gritty, raw, suspenseful, like his first novel, Sins as Scarlet is worth every sinister moment.

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