Three Lives of Tomomi Ishikawa (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

If a book can be described as fun and dark, then Three Lives of Tomomi
Ishikawa is that book. Benjamin Constable (yes, the main character
shares the same name as the author) is an English writer living in Paris
who becomes the unwitting participant in a very unusual treasure hunt.
It begins when he comes home one day and is horrified to find a suicide
letter from his good friend Tomomi Ishikawa, otherwise known as
Butterfly. Certain information in the letter leads him to embark on a
trail of mysterious clues, hidden notebooks, and strange coincidences.
The notebooks tell disturbing stories, and both Benjamin and the reader
begin to wonder where fact and fiction meet. One of the things I loved
about this book was that the characters were funny and endearing,
despite the dark psychological thriller aspects of the story. It is a
book that keeps you guessing right up until the end.

— Sharon


A new and enticing voice in fiction draws readers through the streets of Paris and New York on an intricate adventure. It’s twisting, contemplative, playful and darkly entertaining.

What writer Benjamin Constable needs is a real-life adventure wilder than his rampant imagination. And who better to shake up his comfortable Englishman-in-Paris routine than the enigmatic Tomomi “Butterfly” Ishikawa, who has just sent a cryptic suicide note?

She’s planted a slew of clues—in the pages of her journal, on the hard drive of her computer, tucked away in public places, under flowerpots, and behind statues. Heartbroken, confused, and accompanied by an imaginary cat, Ben embarks upon a scavenger hunt leading to charming and unexpected spaces, from the hidden alleys of Paris to the cobblestone streets of New York City.

But Butterfly’s posthumous messages are surprisingly well informed for the words of a dead person, and they’re full of confessions of a past darkened by insanity, betrayal, and murder. The treasures Ben is unearthing are installments of a gruesome memoir. Now he must draw a clear line between the real and surreal if he is to save himself, Butterfly, and what remains of their crazy and amazing friendship.

About the Author

Benjamin Constable was born in Bristol and grew up mostly in Derby. He lives in Paris where he writes fiction and teaches English. Three Lives of Tomomi Ishikawa is his first novel.

Praise For…

"Three Lives of Tomomi Ishikawa is a haunting, mysterious, and beautifully-executed novel. I couldn't put it down while I was reading it, and days later I find myself thinking of the characters, of the secret lives of Paris and New York, of the question of how well we ever really know our friends. Benjamin Constable's elegant debut reads like a cross between a puzzle and a fairytale."
— Emily St. John Mandel

"A haunting book as much about the creative process as it is about the characters."
— Kirkus

"An offbeat tale—dark but playful."
— Publishers Weekly
Product Details
ISBN: 9781451667264
ISBN-10: 1451667264
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: June 4th, 2013
Pages: 352
Language: English