Published: 07. October . 2014 ( First /published in 1995)
Genre: Mystery | Thriller
Publisher: Minotaur Books
What is it about?
Acclaimed bestselling novelist Kunihiko Hidaka is found brutally murdered in his home on the night before he’s planning to leave Japan and relocate to Vancouver. His body is found in his office, a locked room, within his locked house, by his wife and his best friend, both of whom have rock solid alibis. Or so it seems.
At the crime scene, Police Detective Kyoichiro Kaga recognizes Hidaka’s best friend, Osamu Nonoguchi. Years ago when they were both teachers, they were colleagues at the same public school. Kaga went on to join the police force while Nonoguchi eventually left to become a full-time writer, though with not nearly the success of his friend Hidaka. As Kaga investigates, he eventually uncovers evidence that indicates that the two writers’ relationship was very different that they claimed, that they were anything but best friends. But the question before Kaga isn’t necessarily who, or how, but why. In a brilliantly realized tale of cat and mouse, the detective and the killer battle over the truth of the past and how events that led to the murder really unfolded. And if Kaga isn’t able to uncover and prove why the murder was committed, then the truth may never come out.
While the story, has enough plot twists to keep it fast paced and a page turner, the plot is an old fashioned mystery novel that revolves around a murder of a famous writer.
I loved the writing style, especially the perspective of Osamu Nonoguchi, which I believe really thickens the plot.
The book is set in Japan, and I rarely have read books set in that country. I am glad I picked this up for the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Since, the only Japanese literature I keep getting recommended is Manga or Haruki Murakami Books.
Not like that is a bad thing, but I really wanted to try some off beat, authentic Japanese literature, a book that was originally written in Japan, and by a famous author in Japan.
I am so glad I picked this one up, and will definitely continue to read the other books from this author.
Detective Kaga is a little like the Agatha Christie detective series I have read, and I am thrilled to find a Japanese version as well. I find myself quite taken with Japanese mysteries. Not a word is wasted, not much descriptive language, but they are such puzzles. So many times in this story I thought it was figured out only to quickly discover that everything first thought was totally wrong. Divided into individual parts between two characters, each part brought a new perspective and further evidence.It’s a puzzle-solving police procedural, that may turn on true love, infidelity, a cover-up of a past crime, jealousy of professional success, bribery, middle-school bullying.
I sure do recommend to read this book for the sole purpose of immersing into Japanese Literature , other than the obvious Manga’s and Haruki Murakami Books that are so very popular. Also If you love mysteries, this one has a lot of twists and the writing style is indeed unique.