Her Secret Blue Book

Of Books, Writers & Writing

I can’t see any reason why you guys would bother to kill that cat.

For some reason, Hidaka didn’t respond right away. He just grinned, looking out of the window. He finished his coffee before saying, ‘I did do it you know.”

This is what the suspect, and part narrator Osamu Nonoguchi tells us right in the beginning about his friend, Kunihiko Hidaka, who is found murdered in his home, a day before he and his second wife Rie could leave for the USA.

When detective Koichiro Kaga enters the scene, he has his doubts on Osamu, also a former colleague. And a writer just like Hidaka. Albeit a less successful, rather an anonymous one as compared to his friend Hidaka, who is a well-known, bestselling Japanese author.

Kaga’s compass points towards Osamu. But, Osamu has an alibi. When his alibi fails, he willingly and much like a martyr hands himself over to the police. Telling them that:

“I got angry and killed him in the heat of the moment. That’s all.”

But, detective Kaga is unconvinced. Following his intuition and logical deductions, he starts looking for the real motive. What he finds after a cat and mouse game, which lasts till the very end is not only startling, and highly satisfying, but downright brilliant.

The strokes of brilliance apparent through:

– The cat incident narrated in the beginning by Osamu, which paints Hidaka as a ruthless, ambitious, and unscrupulous man. The question being was he?

– The redefining and refreshing treatment of the motive behind a murder.

– The motive maze. Where each clue and motive is a key to unlocking another motive. Until, the final motive is exposed.

Keigo Higashino is a genius storyteller. He is an international celebrity whose books have been translated and adopted into films in South Asia. So if you haven’t read his mystery books, then, you haven’t viewed sunset yet.

In Hindsight…

Hits:

  1. I am tired of reading pulp thrillers and psychological killer dramas. I am sick of visualising grotesque murders and crafty murderers and working out motives in my mind. To cut a long story short, I am tired of the predictability in story telling, character building and sub plotting. In thrillers, particularly. So when the seasoned reader in me, guilty of being a story-cynic reads something akin to genius, it makes my year.
  2. A brilliant piece of fiction, which has been translated into English. Can you believe it!

Misses:

  1. Why did I discover Keigo Higashino this late?
  2. Mr. Higashino, what I feel for your writing talent can be summed up in one word. Malice.
Buy Malice on amazon

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