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Wednesday 4 February 2015
‘Malice’ by Keigo Higashino
Bestselling novelist Hidaka is found in his office, in a locked room within his locked house, by his wife and his best friend, who both have alibis – or so it seems ...
Just the contents page tells you this novel is going to be something different: 1 MURDER Osamu Nonoguchi’s Account; 2. SUSPICION – Kyoichiro Kaga’s Notes etc. The story is told in the first person throughout, initially alternating between an account written by Hidaka’s best friend and fellow-writer, Nonoguchi, and the notes written by investigating detective Kaga. Kaga and Nonoguchi were teachers together before each chose a different career, and the past turns out to be very important in the final solution, as Kaga interviews old aquaintances of both writers. There’s no blood, but a good deal of psychological nastiness, the ‘malice’ of the title. The novel is built around a series of twists as Kaga’s investigation of each of Nonoguchi’s accounts uncovers another layer of reality, and the drawn-out duel between the two men makes compelling reading. The Japanese background didn’t affect the plot, but I enjoyed little cultural differences, like people bowing.
An intensely-focused journey to find out the truth, and a treat for lovers of classic detection focused on character and clues.
Reviewer: Marsali Taylor
Keigo Higashino was born February 4, 1958. He is a Japanese author chiefly known for his mystery novels. He served as the 13th President of Mystery Writers of Japan from 2009 to 2013.
Marsali Taylor grew up near Edinburgh, and came to Shetland as a newly-qualified teacher. She is currently a part-time teacher on Shetland's scenic west side, living with her husband and two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a qualified STGA tourist-guide who is fascinated by history, and has published plays in Shetland's distinctive dialect, as well as a history of women's suffrage in Shetland. She's also a keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own 8m yacht, and an active member of her local drama group. Marsali also does a regular monthly column for the Mystery People e-zine.