Nicolás Obregón


Nicolás Obregón is both a Madrileño and a Londoner, having lived between the two cities and cultures from a young age. He has worked as a deputy editor for a publishing house in Central London and as a writer for Which? Travel Magazine.

His first novel, Blue Light Yokohama, will be published in 2017.


NPR Radio Interview: Book Nook with Vick Mickunas
"Once in a great while I'll stumble upon a debut novel that is so freaking brilliant I'll just want to scream." ... "Blue Light Yokohama is a stunning debut. And Nic gives a great interview. It's a crime novel, a mystery, a detective novel, but it is quite a bit more than that. This is a polished piece of literature that was a delight to read. The characters will stick with you long after you finish reading about them. I'm not doing any spoilers. It is set in Japan. Listen to the interview. Read the book. Then do what I'm doing; be patient while we wait for the next one. This will be an amazing series. Remember this author's name."


The Guardian
"With a labyrinthine plot and a likable protagonist, Blue Light Yokohama is a strong beginning to what promises to be an excellent series."

Why I Love Tokyo - The Guardian
A city that can be ‘Blade Runner and old Japan all at once’ inspired Blue Light Yokohama novelist Nicolás Obregón – who is in thrall to Tokyo’s towers, street food and quiet corners.


Library Journal Review
"A tense, atmospheric Tokyo-set debut, which pulses with a dark energy all its own." ... "This gritty story, in what will hopefully become a new series, has roots in American noir yet fully embraces its Japanese setting, establishing Obregón as a fresh, up-and-coming voice in crime fiction." (Starred review)


The Express
"An excellent first novel." ... "This slow-burning but gripping book is based on an unsolved real-life case, but the central crime is only one of many mysteries of Japanese life the book explores, wisely avoiding the temptation to provide neat answers."

Jon Coates in The Express
"This beautifully written debut takes the reader on a captivating and atmospheric journey around Tokyo with plenty of twists to keep them gripped until the epic conclusion." 


Publishers Weekly
"After a tantalizing prologue, Obregón maintains a high level of suspense throughout his superior fiction debut, an intricately constructed whodunit that doesn’t sacrifice depth of characterization for plot." ... "While the complex mystery itself will keep readers turning pages, the book’s real strength is Iwata, a compellingly tormented lead, whose demons don’t prevent him from doggedly pursuing the truth." (Starred review)


The Daily Mail
"Refreshing." ... "Let us hear more from the troubled, engaging Inspector Iwata."


Eastern Promise
Nicolás Obregón on Japanese crime fiction in The Sunday Times Crime Club by Karen Robinson.


The Suspense is Thrilling Me
"While it’s a slow burn, the writing is gorgeous and full bodied; I’ve never seen such horrific content described quite so beautifully." ... "Fans of noir, foreign crime fiction, and well done police procedurals should poach this. This was not the type of book you pick up to race through for sheer entertainment, but one that you savor and take in piece by piece as a learning experience. I’m pleased to say that I’m looking forward to the author’s next piece in the series and truly can’t wait to see where he takes Iwata."


Charlotte Heathcote and Jon Coates in The Daily Express
"Debut novelist Nicolás Obregón uses a shocking true-life crime, an unsolved multiple murder in Japan, as the basis for the exceptional Blue Light Yokohama."


RT Book Review - Regina Small
"Obregón’s debut is a stunning alchemy of spellbinding mystery and poignant reflection on the nature of human loneliness. His vision of Tokyo as a city mired in spiritual torpor, the economic powerhouse of the 1980s laid low not just by the financial crash of the ‘90s but by profound cultural desolation, was provoking at every turn. Kosuke Iwata's investigation of the religiously motivated Black Sun Killer brings up a host of interesting questions about community, about isolation, about love and separation; it inevitably drives Iwata to sift through the remains of his own broken life, searching for meaning, adding layers to what might otherwise be just a salacious potboiler about cult killings." ...
"An extraordinary first novel, one that seems likely to guarantee a long career. As Iwata and his partner, the steely Noriko Sakai, follow hot on the heels of the serial murderer, tracking every ritualistic killing, they must also confront the ghosts of their pasts — and the dark corruption lying deep in the heart of Tokyo."


Jake Kerridge in The Daily Express
"A novelist making serious, sensitive fiction out of a real case in which a whole family was murdered, Blue Light Yokohama is an outstanding debut based on an unsolved case in Japan."

Kirkus Reviews
"Obregón's full-bodied prose is by turns gritty and poetic, and it's consistently energetic. Given the terrific chemistry between the two lead detectives, here's hoping this debut novel kicks off a new series."


Katherine Tomlinson for Criminal Element
"Obregón has infused his first novel with a kinetic sense of the many different sides of a city he loves. Like a kaleidoscope, the view shifts from angle to angle as the inhabitants try to impose order on the chaotic infrastructure." ... "Fans of noir will delight in the tough-edged dialogue and the unsentimental characters. The puzzle is solid, and the investigation absorbing. Obregón is definitely an up-and-coming writer to watch."


Book Page - Bruce Tierney 'Black Sun Rising'
"Obregón balances the key components of modern detective fiction seamlessly." ... "His descriptions of Tokyo are spot-on as he leads the reader through the city in search of an exceptionally clever and elusive killer. Blue Light Yokohama is nicely done for a first book; it’s nicely done, period."


A Maxim Jakubowski selected title
"An impressive debut." ... "An exemplary police procedural with memorable characters, and an exotic and evocative sense of place. Striking."

The Birth of Blue Light Yokohama Part II in Criminal Element
'The story of the story' serialised in the US.

The Birth of Blue Light Yokohama in The Huffington Post
'The Story of the Story' serialised in the US.


Part III - The Story of the Story of Blue Light Yokohama
The conclusion - how an atrocious crime, a few coincidences, and an old Japanese love song became a debut novel.


Part II - The Story of the Story of Blue Light Yokohama
Nicolás Obregón takes a closer look at the Miyazawa Family Murders - a cold case from the year 2000.


Part I - The Story of the Story of Blue Light Yokohama
In the first of three pieces, Nicolás Obregón discusses how he discovered the real-life case that inspired his book, Blue Light Yokohama.


The Real Book Spy
"Blue Light Yokohama is very dark, and certainly not for the faint of heart. Obregon, like his fictional detective, is a rule-breaker."


Five Books
Nicolás Obregón pays tribute to the books that changed his life.


Penguin Q+A
Everything you need to know about Nicolás Obregón.