The Black Lizard (Kurotokage) features Rampo's main detective character, Akechi Kogoro, combining elements of Poe's Auguste Dupin with the gentleman adventurers of British golden age detective literature. The Black Lizard herself is a master criminal and femme fatale, whose charged relationship with detective Akechi and unconcealed sadism have inspired shuddering admiration in generations of readers. It is largely thanks to this classic of 1960s Japanese theater that the story remains associated with sexual transgression and blurred boundaries between male and female, hunter and hunted, detective and criminal. Themes of deviance and sado-masochism are central to Beast in the Shadows (Inju), a tale from the height of Rampo's grotesque period. This tale of secret identities, violent sexuality, and dark crimes stands in stark contrast to the genteel detective stories then popular in English literature.