Lost Lad London Volume 1
Lost Lad London by Shima Shinya sets up an intriguing mystery premise.
The mayor of London is found dead, stabbed, on an Underground train. Our protagonist is Al, a University student and loner. He’s making his own way by writing papers for other students.
A beaten-down detective with a variety of injuries has a history of guilt from when a wrongly charged suspect killed themselves; that case was never solved. He comes to Al’s flat while interviewing witnesses, but Al has just discovered the murder weapon, planted in his jacket. Given his background, Mr. Ellis doesn’t demand they give the evidence to the police. He knows Al, as a South Asian in London, would be deemed guilty by public opinion no matter the facts.
The look of the art is sparse and a little alienated, suiting the material. Al is small and skinny with a face dominated by huge, haunted eyes. Focus is mostly on expressions, as much happens through dialogue.
The two decide to team up to find the real killer and find out why Al is being framed. Hints indicate that it has to do with his history; that’s typical of the manga mysteries I’ve read, that the past affects the present. I’m intrigued and curious to see more, particularly since it’s rare to see a proper mystery in comic format. Most are about serial killers, with plenty of gore, or similar thriller subjects.