It will come as no surprise to learn that in Japan this book has sold over two million copies, and it’s not the first novel from this brilliant mind that has done so. Recently, the U.S. has received this translation and, I must say, it is a true ‘gift.’
A wonderfully written thriller with so many twists and turns and puzzles galore that the reader becomes entranced and intrigued immediately. One of the best sub-plots comes from the face-off between a police officer who’s been on the force for many years, and a criminal who didn’t start out being a criminal, and the amazing way they ‘match wits’ with one another.
To begin, Ishigami – who is an extremely finicky math teacher at the local high school – visits a small lunch shop frequently because he has a mild crush on Yasuko Hanaoka, a young woman who works there. The shop owners are always very interested in Ishigami’s visits, but Yasuko doesn’t notice him at all. Yasuko and her daughter, Misato, are neighbors of Ishigami but they have never spoken to each other away from the shop.
One night, Yasuko’s ex-husband visits her and a fight erupts. When their daughter interferes – the fight worsens and death comes to the doorstep. Hearing the fight, Ishigami gets involved and ends up stepping into a situation that may just destroy his life.
The police enter…and they discover a body wrapped in plastic and dumped in a factory district, but the corpse’s face has been bashed in. When the police come up with an identity, Ishigami is revisited by a situation that is completely out of his control.
Although some readers may find the story a bit long in the description department, I highly recommend it for mystery/thriller readers. It harkens back to a time of Columbo, Agatha Christie, and other investigators who won the heart of readers and T.V. enthusiasts a long time ago. Better yet? The ending is truly a big surprise!
Until Next Time, Everybody,