Thursday, March 2, 2017

JLC 10 - book review - Malice - Hagashino


Malice is one of the bestselling—the most acclaimed—novels in Keigo Higashino's series featuring police detective Kyochiro Kaga, one of the most popular creations of the bestselling novelist in Asia. (Good reads). 

I read this just after Christmas, so there are some details I don't recall,  but I do remember that I enjoyed this mystery. Its a story about authors, murder and friends. Given I dont recall too many of the details, I will share this description from here
Malice is essentially a study of intellectuals doing their very nasty damnedest, and especially of the ambitions and jealousies of bookish persons. Osama Nonoguchi, writer of children’s books, discovers the body of a fellow author, Kunihiko Hidaka, in his locked office.  Nonoguchi admits he has been attracted by Hidaka’s beautiful wife, so we are soon made uneasy as to his reliability as a narrator, though, as a writer, he is naturally keeping an account of events.
What I do recall was how I felt when I was reading this, and I was intrigued. The story kept me on my toes, as I like a crime book to do, and yet as a crime novel, it was too gruesome or frightening. There was an element of mystery in this story, and I really didn’t know who done it until the end. 

As I read this as part of the Japanese Literature Challenge, I'd like to highlight some of the Japanese-isms I noticed. 
  • Cherry blossom features in the story
  • The characters know each other- it seems to me often in Japanese novels, the characters worked or went to school together. I wonder if that says something about the small or closed communities of Japanese society, or something aboit class structures?
  • There's plenty of etiquette in the ways Japanese people visit other peoples homes - bringing a gift,  making the announcement, and only staying for the intended purpose. 
  • The Japanese drink alot of whiskey. 
Again, I really appreciated the challenge set out by Dolce Bellezza for the Japanese Literature Challenge. I did enjoy this book, and being the person I am, I need the challenge set for me to actually get motivated to read. 

4 comments:

Bellezza said...

I like Keigo Higashino's work very much, and this is one of his that I have not yet read. I've seen it reviewed with great praise, though, and I appreciate your contribution to the JLC10! It's never too late, really. :)

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Ally said...

I have placed Malice on my wishlist, seems interesting!!

Esme said...

Having just returned from Japan I am going to read this. The Japanese are very polite.