Sunday, December 4, 2016

Initial Impressions: Malice by Keigo Higashino

I feel that Japanese writer Keigo Higashino is one of the finest writers of mysteries. First I read
The Devotion of Suspect X and marvelled at his ingenuity. Then came Salvation of a Saint which I found to be even better than Devotion and now I have read Malice which is a fantastic mystery, a police procedural, as also a comment on the way we write and read a narrative with all our prejudices and fallings.




Best-Selling author Kunihiko Hidaka is leaving Japan for Canada with his second wife, Rie ( whom he married after his first wife died in an accident). On his last night in Japan, he is visited by his friend Osamu Nonoguchi, also a writer, albeit not as famous or successful as Hidaka himself. Before Nonuguch enters Hidaka's house, however, he has a strange encounter with a woman who accuses Hidaka of having poisoned her cat. The two friends talk about various things before another woman, Miyako Fujio walks in. Miyako feels that Hidaka has created a character based on her brother (a former classmate of both Hidaka and Nonoguchi) and presented him in a bad light and wants to discuss the issue with Hidaka. Nonoguchi takes his leave as he has an appointment with his publisher . As his publisher goes through his manuscript, Nonoguchi receives a telephone call from Hidaka who sounds tense and wants him to come over once again to his house. Nonoguchi does so but when he reaches over there, he finds Hidaka dead. Enter Detective Kaga, who was earlier Nonoguchi's colleague at a school where the latter still teaches. Now Detective Kaga has to find out how Hidaka was killed in a locked room but soon he finds out that why Hidaka was killed is far more important.




I found this book absolutely brilliant. Strongly recommended.


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First Line: The incident took place on April 16, 1996, a Tuesday.

Original Title: Akui
Original Language: Japanese
Translator: Alexander O. Smith

Pub. Details: London: Little, Brown, 2014
First Published: 1996 (Japanese edition)
Pages: 281
Source: CL [813.32309 H534M]

Other books read of the same author: The Devotion of Suspect X, Salvation of a Saint

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Have come to know that the Tuesday Night Bloggers are looking at Foreign Mysteries this month, so am submitting this post for the meme.


6 comments:

  1. So happy you enjoyed this, Neeru. I like this series very much, and hadn't yet gotten to Malice. Now it seems I have a treat awaiting me.

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    1. Oh you must read this novel, Margot. It is not only a great mystery but also a comment on how authors write their plots and characters.

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  2. thanks for adding this to our Tuesday Night Bloggers round-up! I've included you on the post now.

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  3. This is my favorite of all the books I've read by Higashino mostly because it is not just a well done crime novel, but has social commentary with a very strong and vital message.

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    1. It has become my favourite too John. Yes that message is very important but I also love the way the book comments on the craft of writing.

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