The painter's wife has left him for a younger man. Taking some time away from Tokyo, he starts looking after the empty house of a famous artist, Tomohiko Amada.
Not long after he moves in, a scraping sound in the attic leads him to find a carefully wrapped canvas, labelled 'Killing Commendatore'.
This unusual painting leads him to delve into Amada's life story and those of his neighbours.
It also brings him into contact with a strange parallel universe, from which the Commendatore himself emerges.
When his neighbour's daughter vanishes, the painter must embark on a quest that leads him back to a tragedy in his own past. A profound engagement with art and its creation, Killing Commendatore asks whether confronting the past can ever bring comfort, or just more pain?
Ambitious, haunting, and multi-layered, it is reminiscent of Murakami's masterpiece The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, and takes his narrative art in new and exciting directions.