Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Book Review: Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama

I don't think the British police would care about a protest.

The Japanese crime sensation that sold a million copies in six days.

For five days in January 1989, the parents of a seven-year-old Tokyo schoolgirl sat and listened to the demands of their daughter's kidnapper. They would never learn his identity. They would never see their daughter again.

For the fourteen years that followed, the Japanese public listened to the police's apologies. They would never forget the botched investigation that became known as 'Six Four'. They would never forgive the authorities their failure.

For one week in late 2002, the press officer attached to the police department in question confronted an anomaly in the case. He could never imagine what he would uncover. He would never have looked if he'd known what he would find.

This is a very slow book for something that comes technically under the thriller genre.

Our protagonist Mikami is an outsider, working in the hated media department in Administer, while having previously been a detective. Office Politics is big part of this book, with the police officers and Admin going up against each other. Mikami also has personal stuff that effects where he lies in this 'war' and this does goes in a circle while Mikami is trying to find out what they all up to, especially as he thinks its vital for him to know.

The mysteries presented are mostly solved, a big one is left to wonder about. I go on the pessimist side of what is hinted about the one that isn't.

The writing is odd sometimes, obviously this is a translation (translated by Jonathan Lloyd-Davies) so that might come from what is the usual in Japanese. Mikami just starts listing things, which is especially odd as this book is written in third person. This book is quite long and the plot drags on sometimes.  

They were some culture barriers in this book for me. A big early plot point is the Journalist threatening to put in a written compliant to the police and I honestly don't get why anyone would care as they were complaining about something Mikami was ordered to do. The police have no respect/like for the Journalist so why was a big deal if they complained. I know Japan does have a big thing about honour and shame so maybe because its a shamefully thing to happen, or the whole disconnect they have with their bosses. It doesn't really matter I guess if you understand why, it is important for plot reason and then what that leads to.

I listened to the audio book of this and I don't think I would recommended that. I didn't really like the actor's, Richard Burnip, voice. He also made the female character kinda whinny and didn't like a lot of the choices for the other characters either. I also found it confusing since I'm not familiar with Japanese names it was hard for me to remember character's by the sound of their names and would have been better reading it, but ar last I did not have the time to do that and got used to both these issues eventually.

Overall, I give this book 4/5 stars for Irritable Reporters. While I enjoyed this book, a lot things are left unresolved and everything that is resolved is done very quickly compared to the size of the rest of this book.

Discamilar: I listen to book on Audio book from the library, but I had also received a ebook version off it from NetGalley and
Quercus Books when it came out in Hardback over here.

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