Journey Under the Midnight Sun



Journey Under the Midnight Sun
Higashino Keigo
Alexander O. Smith (Translator)
539pp

Such a long tangled web.

I enjoyed it, maybe especially because of its connection to the area of Osaka that I have called home for these many years. Eventually it wasn't much of a mystery and more of a psychological examination of broken people, but this appears to be a very common part of many Japanese mysteries, and maybe is necessary to avoid telling the same basic story again and again (I love Poirot, but... ).

The story, in short and without spoiling anything, involves a body found in an abandoned building (and one that appears to be locked from within) and a detective who spends decades attempting to piece it all together and find the connections between the child of the victim and the child of a major suspect.

This book had many good points, including Higashino's ability to hold that carrot just out of reach making a reader rush and rush forward, enjoying the chase. Also, as a writer he is able to satisfy readers by giving them numerous rewards of revelations, just enough to pull us through the over 500 pages of this rather long (pages and timespan) book. 

However, (pardon my frankness) the casual use of rape as a weapon for power deserved a bigger focus, and some kind of larger retribution in the end, that was missing. This is a problem I have had with a few of Higashino's books (The Name of the Game is Kidnapping, come to mind) where rape isn't given the weight that it should. At times it seems like its a Deux Ex Machina used to simply explain why someone did something in a certain way, or why people didn't talk when they should have. 

Still, as a light (though long) read it was not bad, and I am looking forward to November's long postponed release of his newest translation. Recommended for mystery fans.


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