Mariko Koike: The Graveyard Apartment

The Graveyard Apartment
Mariko Koike
Thomas Donne Publishers 2016

The story of a family stuck, unable to move, unable to save themselves.

Though imperfect, I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the set up of this story quite a bit.

A real slow play of a ghost story... and it works, especially as a type of economic horror novel. The finances of the work actually create an understandable reason for a lack of escape early on. Unlike a locked door preventing escape, here it is a realization that if all of your current and future funds are trapped, you are trapped as well. This part of the book might depend on your own life experience with buying homes and loans and I think also added a pressure that enhanced the horror.

This aspect of the book created a decent amount of fear for the first 1/2 of the book... however it couldn't sustain, and the actual horror involved was a big lackluster and uninspired.

In addition to that I had two questions throughout:

1) Having the knowledge that Japanese people live next to cemeteries all the time, it got old to hear characters comment on how terrifying a location the apartment was in.

2) It's a mistake to have a ghost story where a ghost appears somewhat early on, but the characters still react to everything after as if this is a drama and not a not a horror story.

But despite this, the book plugs along, and brings us with it reasonably well...

The second 1/2 and ending less so, which had me drop my score to. 3/5 here.

Recommended only for those who really enjoy Koike's other works and want to read more. 

Amazon USA
Amazon Japan