Recent Events

Friday, 15 January 2016

‘Journey Under the Midnight Sun’ by Kiego Higashino

Published by Little Brown,
8 October 2015.
ISBN: 978-1-4087-0411-0

Detective Sasagaki has been called out to a homicide - a local pawnbroker has been stabbed in an empty building. The case remains unsolved, but  Sasagaki will continue to pursue his suspects for twenty years …

This absorbing novel keeps you on high alert throughout. Each of the fourteen chapters moves the story along in time, and most of them introduce you to a new character who has become involved in the stories of the dead man’s son, Ryo, and of Yukiho, the daughter of a woman who might have been the dead man’s mistress. We see Ryo’s involvement in pimping, and then his interest in programming the early computer games. At the same time we see Yukiho growing up elegant and gracious, admired by everyone. By the time Sasagaki reappears in the story, we know far more than he does about the events since Ryo’s father’s death, and are already piecing together something even darker than his suspicions. All the characters draw you into their part of the story: Ryo’s out-of-his-depth friend, Yukiho’s admiring follower, the businessman who falls in love with a temp, but later marries Yukiho, the nurse who believes Ryo cares about her. The plotting is as elegant as Yukiho, as tricky as Ryo, and the final explanation unexpected. I loved the glimpses of everyday Japanese life - the manners, the food, the customs. The slow moving forward in time was cleverly done, without actual dates - there were references to Japanese events, which didn’t always pinpoint the year to a Westerner, but the evolution of computer technology and the mirrored complexity of the characters’ machinations gave a rough time frame.

A compelling, slow-burn novel which makes the reader work hard to draw together a complex, satisfying story. Wonderful.
Reviewer: Marsali Taylor

Keigo Higashino  was born in Osaka. He started writing novels while still working as an engineer at Nippon Denso Co. He won the Edogawa Rampo Prize for writing at age 27, and subsequently quit his job to start a career as a writer in Tokyo.

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment