A twenty-year-old murder
A chain of unsolvable mysteries
Can one detective solve this epic riddle?
When a man is found murdered in an abandoned building in Osaka in 1973, unflappable detective Sasagaki is assigned to the case. He begins to piece together the connection of two young people who are inextricably linked to the crime; the dark, taciturn son of the victim and the unexpectedly captivating daughter of the main suspect. Over the next twenty years we follow their lives as Sasagaki pursues the case – which remains unsolved – to the point of obsession.
Stark, intriguing and stylish, Journey Under the Midnight Sun is an epic mystery by the bestselling Japanese author of The Devotion of Suspect X.
I ordered this the second i knew it was up for preordering. It was one of my most anticipated books of the year. Now I’m not a crime fiction reader, maybe it’s a case of grass being greener on the other side, but I love Japanese crime fiction and this was particularly gruesome and gripping.
The story is told from many different perspectives, skipping back and forth smoothly and without confusion. There wasn’t a single place where i thought, “hey, who’re we reading now?” which made this an extremely effortless read.
If i were to break down the book into whether you ought to read this or not I would of course say, read it immediately. But then it depends on what you like reading.
This isn’t a crime fiction where you’re confused as to whodunnit. It’s fairly obvious from the beginning who did it but that doesn’t matter here. What matters here is how it all ends. Does it unravel? Does Sasagaki find out? Do the other characters find out? Does Yukiho get what she wants? Is she safe? Is Ryo safe? What happens to Eriko? (She is one of my favourite characters.)
I read this in two sittings over two days. I couldn’t bear to put it down, alas, work is to be done and money to be earned and elders to be pleased. What can one do. I must say if i were to remove any aspect it’d be the ending. (NO SPOILERS) I would have changed it to a more established ending where everyone’s path is clear from there on out. And i would have saved some lives along the way. But Higashino is, and will probably continue to be, one of my favourite crime writers.
It’s entertaining and it keeps you gripped till the end (if this is your kind of book) and makes you have a huge book hangover once you’re done. The translator, Alexander OSmith, has done an excellent job at keeping the essence of the story. He has done two other books by Higashino, Salvation of a Saint and Devotion Of Suspect X and both of them are brilliant as well.
If you are looking for a good read that doesn’t require too much effort, is long enough to keep you entertained for a while and fast moving enough to not feel like work then grab this. It won’t disappoint.
NOTE: I write short reviews because I suck at writing long ones without giving away details.
FUN FACT : This was originally published as a series of short stories in a magazine and then got made into a book. It’s popularity really took off when it was made into a TV series, Byakuyako. If you want to watch the TV series please check out the link here. DO NOT watch this if you don’t want the ending spoilt. The TV show takes quite a different direction and changes a lot of things. It’s still a great watch.