Alexander O. Smith (Translator)
With Malice, we come to the end of the works of Higashino currently available in English. Although certainly not the best of the bunch, it is also far from the worst and has many pleasant twists and turns for the fun of the reader.
Writers simply love to write about writers and writing. Maybe even more so, mystery writers love to kill off themselves within their own writing.
And there we start this work, with the death of a successful mystery writer just before he plans to up and leave Japan for a new life in Vancouver.
Is the move connected to the murder?
Detective Kaga, in his only English language appearance thus far (a large series of books are available in Japanese) comes to the scene and bumps into an old friend, Osamu Nonoguchi. Both were once teachers, but one left education to become a detective, while the other tried his hand at writing. Osamu is old friends with the murdered writer, but could it be simple jealousy that caused this crime?
Along our search many things are revealed, including a ghost writer who may be the real talent behind our victims success.
As often is the case, just when we think we have it figured out, the carpet is pulled out from under our feet and we see the truth... which in this case is maybe just a little less interesting than the carpet we had warmed our little feet upon.
So, again, worthwhile for any Higashino fans, and not a bad little mystery, but around the little when one looks at all of Higashino's stories.
Recommended, but the ride is better than the destination here.