In the quiet district of Kodenma, secrets and lies begin to surface as the police investigate the murder of a woman who’d recently moved to the area. Mineko Mitsui is found strangled to death in her apartment with very few clues to aid the police; one is a button found on the floor, another a box of sweets from a bakery.

Detective Kyoichiro Kaga (Hiroshi Abe), recently transferred to the local police department, finds himself partnered up with his younger cousin and takes to the streets of Ningyo Town (Doll Town) pursuing the few leads and uncovering the truths some locals would rather keep hidden. Each new discovery leads Kaga towards his goal of finding out the truth, even if it means he goes another day without tasting the extremely popular taiyaki from a prominent local bakery.

Mineko’s family is the center of attention as her husband and son are the primary suspects, but both claim they had no idea where she had moved to or who could have wanted to harm her. Her son Koki left home prior to his parents’ divorce and moved to Kodenma-cho, moving in with his girl friend and working hard to realize his dream of being an actor. Naohiro, her husband, is having money problems with his cleaning business, having to lay off employees to help keep him afloat.

But family members aren’t the only suspects. Several people had met Mineko in the days following up to her unfortunate end. There’s the insurance agent who was the last person seen with Mineko, a girl with an unhealthy obsession for Hello Kitty,  a close friend of the deceased and her fiance, amongst others. Kaga’s relentless pursuit of the truth dispels the shadows surrounding the suspects, helping families heal along the way.

Shinzanmono hits all the right notes in a market filled with police dramas. Hiroshi Abe slips perfectly into the shoes of Detective Kaga, once again showing he is a man with great range and versatility. Shinzanmono ranks number two in my list of shows featuring Hiroshi, with Kekkon Dekinai Otoko still taking number one spot.

Starring: Abe Hiroshi, Kuroki Meisa
Genre: Crime
Episodes: 10
TV Station: TBS
Air Dates: Apr 18, 2010 – June 20, 2010

Based on the novel by Higashino Keigo

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