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Keigo Higashino has done it again. This is fiendishly clever and smart to the high heavens. At first it seems like the usual whodunit but that went out the window really fast. Then it becomes a howdunit which eventually evolves to a whydunit. A superb read, a great cerebral exercise and a sublime human lesson.

Acclaimed bestselling novelist Kunihiko Hidaka is found brutally murdered in his home on the night before he’s planning to leave Japan and relocate to Vancouver. His body is found in his office, a locked room, within his locked house, by his wife and his best friend, both of whom have rock solid alibis. Or so it seems.

At the crime scene, Police Detective Kyochiro Kaga recognizes Hidaka’s best friend, Osamu Nonoguchi. As Kaga investigates, he eventually uncovers evidence that indicates that the two writers’ relationship was very different that they claimed, that they were anything but best friends. What ensues is a brilliant cat and mouse game where the tables constantly turn and characters’ motivations are examined and re-examined. The narrative structure is meticulously crafted with chapters representing one point of view. Most days I will just finish one chapter and ruminate over what I have just read and feel its powerful impact. Then the next day when I read the next chapter, everything changes again. I love the constant shifts, layers, twists, turns, sudden stops and the collisions between the past and the present. This novel is a true page-turner and it took extreme effort to take a respite just to ponder the huge ramifications of what I have just discovered in each chapter. One of the most satisfying reads this year.

PS – this book was originally published in Japan in 1996! Bloody hell! It took them so long to translate it. Till now there are only 4 books by Higashino published in English and everyone of them is frigging brilliant. Can somebody get up from their lazy ass and translate all his stuff fast? Please….

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