There’s nothing more scarier than the truth that hides in plain sight
First of all, what makes this this murder mystery an interesting read,
1. By the end of the 1st chapter, you will know who committed the murder.
2. By the end of the 2nd chapter, you will know what happened to the victim (as we always do).
3. It will take close to 300+ pages to find out exactly how the victim was murdered.
When one picks up a murder mystery, one might expect an extremely elaborate plan to murder, motives that can sometimes go back decades and if I’m lucky maybe even a weird weapon of choice.
With slight modification to one of the above 3 elements, I’d say, the book excels on all 3 grounds.
When I finished reading the first 2 chapters in the book and realized that there are more than 300 pages remaining, I knew I was getting into something highly complex. And boy, was I not disappointed. The novels continues on with the detectives going about their regular work, questioning anything that moved.
The murder plan was extremely simple, but complex enough to keep the reader guessing till the end. Even crazy, if not mind boggling and the motive was quite obvious from page 5, though the reason was not. Keigo is definitely well on his way (after reading this book, a long way) from becoming the next Arthur Conan Doyle, the reason for which I shall now explain.
Keigo has definitely done a great job by concentrating more on the case than on the characters themselves, especially from those in the police department. But as a reader of his previous work, The Devotion of Suspect X, i believe, he hasn’t given us a character who can be described as the Japanese Sherlock Holmes. Throughout the book, I was confused as to whether Manabu Yukawa or Shumpei Kusanagi were playing the part of the main protagonists, once thing the author should have kept in mind when he reintroduced the characters from his previous work. My above statement is highly evident from the fact that since Yukawa is the one who mainly decodes the case, he is hardly given any spotlight at all. I hope the author improves on this in his next work.
Normally, after writing an entire paragraph on what’s wrong with this book, I would give a rating in the range of 2-3 stars but the overall simplicity of the murder plot won me over, and thus I’m compelled to give this book a 4 star rating.
And under normal circumstances, I would refrain from the idea of turning this novel into a movie since they basically alter the plot line which can seriously piss the reader off. But this case deserves an exception. After watching The Devotion of Suspect X on screen and how closely it follows the plot line. I will admit that I am eagerly looking forward to the movie adaptation of this book.
For the Indian Reader
The mass market paperback version of this book is available at great discounts across many online retailers. But, I would recommend buying the book from Infibeam, for the simple fact that they don’t charge extra delivery fees for shipping anywhere in India, and that their delivery timings are on par with that of FlipKart (Seriously pissed off at them right now).