Author : Keigo Higashino
Publisher : Little Brown
Genre : Crime Writing, Japanese Fiction, Translated books
Source : Purchased
Rating : 3 stars
Summary : When a man’s body is discovered at the base of some cliffs in the small resort town of Hari Cove, the police at first suspect a tragic accident, a misstep that cost the man his life.
However, when the victim is found to have been a former policeman and that the cause of death was actually carbon monoxide poisoning, they begin a murder investigation. Manabu Yukawa, the physicist known as ‘Detective Galileo’, is in Hari Cove to speak at a conference on a planned underwater mining operation, and finds himself drawn into the case.
Did the murder have something to do with the fight of the small community to rebuild itself, or does it have its roots in the town’s history? In a series of twists as complex and surprising as any in Higashino’s brilliant, critically acclaimed work, Yukawa uncovers the hidden relationship behind the tragic events that led to this murder.
Hmmm. It is hard to review this because not only did I read mixed reviews before buying it I also have mixed feelings after reading it. Firstly this isn’t your typical Higashino. Yes the author writes across a spectrum of genres despite always writing about crime but this one is a lot more different. It is a little b it less about the characters, about the crime and more about…..well everything else.
One odd thing is that the description makes it seem as if the story is from the POV of the detective or local police but it is majorly , in fact, from the POV of Kyohei, Narumi and a local cop. I found that interesting. Yes it does pop between other POVs as well but it is mainly from the POV of a school kid there for the summer holidays, his cousin who is an environmental activities and a cop. I found that to be a very different choice.
The crime itself isn’t really that interesting. Higashino is known for his masterful crimes that appear to be non crimes with the detective getting a stroke of instinct or genius that makes him carry on doggedly till he solves said crime. This one had none of that. It was a boring crime, set at a boring place with almost nothing interesting, with random back stories added and too many chance breaks for me to take it very seriously. All in all a rather boring read for all the enthusiasm his name conjures up in his readers. That isn’t to say it isn’t readable (Hey, I read it). It’s just a little less exciting, the twists a little less twisty, everything was just a little less than his previous books. That’s all.
WHAT I LIKED
I adored the interactions between the professor and the kid. Yes it is too science involved. Yes it doesn’t make sense when considering the rest of the book. BUT it is what makes the book more readable and if it had been removed I would have been bored out of my wits. It does prove to be necessary for a lot of things but I loved that feeling, it made me feel like I was in my summer holidays learning fun stuff from my sciency relatives.
WHAT I DISLIKED
Hmm, I can’t say I disliked anything but I just thought that this book was Higashino half asleep. You know? The whole atmosphere, the thrill, the “OMG” factor, none of it was there. It felt like it was written in a half hearted manner and that, for me, is just not interesting.
Don’t read if you expect a lot from Higashino. if you just want another Japanese thriller then this would be a good read. Else, skip.
Available for purchase on Amazon India, Flipkart, Book Depository and Wordery.