Journey Under the Midnight Sun (英語) ペーパーバック – 2016/3/3
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A twenty-year-old murder A chain of unsolvable mysteries Can one detective solve this epic riddle? When a man is found murdered in an abandoned building in Osaka in 1973, unflappable detective Sasagaki is assigned to the case. He begins to piece together the connection of two young people who are inextricably linked to the crime; the dark, taciturn son of the victim and the unexpectedly captivating daughter of the main suspect. Over the next twenty years we follow their lives as Sasagaki pursues the case - which remains unsolved - to the point of obsession. Stark, intriguing and stylish, Journey Under the Midnight Sun is an epic mystery by the bestselling Japanese author of The Devotion of Suspect X.
Higashino has crafted a compelling and epic crime novel that entangles the culprits, victims, and police in a complex web * Library Journal * Edgar-nominated Higashino revisits the dangerous codependence of bonds forged in murder with this complex, elegant psychological thriller * Booklist * A psychological thriller of the highest order...Each time Higashino makes a revelation, he quickly pulls the carpet from under one's feet, fuelling the reader to finish the book as quickly as possible. * Singapore Straits Times on Malice * A detective story about writers is often particularly satisfying, and this one is no exception...The plot is satisfyingly twisty and gathers pace as the revelations come thicker, faster, and more and more unexpected. * Sydney Morning Herald on Malice * Intricate and beguiling...if you like riddles inside enigmas, it will please you no end. * Guardian on The Devotion of Suspect X * The creator of Detective Galileo returns with another fiendishly clever Chinese - make that Japanese - box of a whydunit....Each time you're convinced Higashino's wrung every possible twist out of his golden-age setup, he comes up with a new one. If you still miss the days of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, you can't do better than this fleet, inventive retro puzzler. * Kirkus Reviews on Malice * Intricate... At the outset, [Higashino's] approach seems unsettling, but the Edgar nominee knows his business; Malice soon becomes awfully hard to put down. * Booklist * Smart and original...a true page turner...Higashino continues to elevate the modern mystery as an intense and inventive literary form. * Library Journal, Starred Review on Malice * Keigo Higashino combines Dostoyevskian psychological realism with classic detective-story puzzles reminiscent of Agatha Christie and E.C. Bentley. * Wall Street Journal * An exceptional study of the psychology of murder as well as a skilfully plotted narrative. * Independent on Malice * Keigo Higashino again proves his mastery of the diabolical puzzle mystery with Malice, a story with more turns, twists, switchbacks and sudden stops than a Tokyo highway during Golden Week. * New York Times * As fiendishly clever as The Devotion of Suspect X...Higashino offers one twist after another, all of which touch on the theme suggested by the book's title. Readers will marvel at the artful way the plot builds to the solution of Hidaka's murder. * Publishers Weekly on Malice * A stark insight into human depths and a stylish tale of morality and failure . . . -- Maxim Jakubowski * Lovereading * A journey not only to the heart of a dark criminal mystery but also into the recesses of the human soul . . . Higashino will hold you with his glittering eye . . . -- Barry Forshaw * Independent *商品の説明をすべて表示する
How Ryo and Yukiho are actually connected is left up to the reader’s imagination. I wish there were one more chapter at the end which reveals how the two communicated, what the deal between the two was, and what drove Ryo to do what he did and to stay in Yukiho’s shadow and what they envisioned in their future.
Despite the dark story, it was an exhilarating feeling to read such a well-conceived story. I hope that an international audience will enjoy this.
The novel begins in Osaka in 1973 when a man is found stabbed to death in an abandoned building. Detective Sasagaki, the lead officer investigating the case, follows several leads and meets two young children: Ryo, the son of the murdered man, and Yukiho, the daughter of one of the murdered man's acquaintances. Ultimately, Sasagaki is unable to solve the murder. The remainder of the novel is spread over the course of nineteen years. Structurally, the novel may seem like a series of short stories at first. Each chapter introduces and goes into the mind of a new character. However, every character is somehow linked to either Ryo or Yukiho and unusually strange crimes continue to occur.
Higashino crafts a very complex and psychological human mystery here. The plot is much darker than his previous translated works but succeeds in allowing the readers to forge an emotional connection with Ryo, Yukiho, Sasagaki and the vast cast of characters introduced over the plot's near two decade span. Readers who pay close attention can solve sections of the chain of mysteries through intuitive reading, which is key as Higashino doesn't spell everything out for his audience. The 539 page length of the novel allows it to strongly develop its characters as well as address thematic ideas of society, pain, guilt, morality, love and humanity from multiple unique perspectives. Beneath its murder mystery exterior, Journey Under the Midnight Sun has a hidden humane heart.
If you are just sitting down to begin this book, let me recommend that you make a cast of characters. Just a few words about each will suffice, and you will be glad you did when the narrative jumps several years and new characters enter the scene. Unless you are very familiar with Japanese names (I am not), you will have to flip back pages all the time to figure out if you've met these new ones before. (It's a safe bet that any character mentioned by name in the book is going to be important enough to write down.) Once I made my list (200 pages into the novel), everything was much easier!
The narrative begins in the 70s and ends 20 years later, with glimpses of the changes of the world in every stop along the way. We see the rise of computers and computer games; the economic boom and the bursting of the bubble; Rubik's Cubes and Super Mario Brothers; and much more. Reading about these was my favorite part of the novel, and I think it's the heart of it, somehow: you don't really get deeply into any one character's head, so you find yourself drawing a portrait of a group of people, seen from outside, moving through time. Perhaps because I am of an age with Keigo Higashino, I remember all these periods very well, and these glimpses called back memories. It was fascinating to see the same trends played out in Japan that I remembered from life in the States.
Higashino is very lucky in his translator. There must be countless times when Alexander O. Smith has to decide how much, if any, explanatory description to give, not to mention when he has to produce realistic slang-laden dialogue from, say, the 1980s. He does a wonderful job: the writing is seamless and the characters have reasonably distinct voices (although, again, individual character portraits are not the strong suit of this novel). An American reader can shoot through this 560-page novel without having to google every 10 pages, and without puzzling over the characters' motivations and attitudes. I think this is largely the result of a superb translation, and I'm glad to see that Smith has translated other Higashino novels too; I will be reading MALICE next, and I can't wait!