This is a Japanese import which intrigued me but when I first saw the “cast of characters” in the Kindle edition I got nervous. I’m listening and those kinds of names are quite difficult for me to distinguish. Fortunately, I was able to access the list in the Kindle sample as well as on the Amazon site via the “Look Inside” feature.
The Silent Dead
by Tetsuya Honda
2016 / 304 pages
read by Emily Woo Zeller 9h 35m
Rating: C+ / crime
I read it for the 4-MA group (4 Mystery Addicts) and I really tried to like it. The first half or so was very nice but then it got too gritty for my tastes and although that isn’t always a breaker, there was not a lot else to improve the rating. I enjoyed the characters and the interaction of a procedural.
The Prologue has a teenage girl killing her seriously abusive parents. This girl grows up and we get her thoughts throughout the novel but with audio only it’s hard to distinguish who is sharing these thoughts. I was confused for a long time.
In part 1, Reiko Himekawa, the main character of the series, is a fairly young unmarried woman and a Lieutenant and squad leader with the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department. But this is what she has wanted to do ever since she … well … that would be a spoiler.
The first few chapters after the Prologue were a bit off-putting with Reiko having to fend off male police officers, but that let up. She can be very sharp-tongued. She’s pretty tough and a bit egotistical as well – fights her superiors and does things her own way. Her own squad is very loyal to her but there are others on the force who resent her.
We are usually seeing things from Reiko’s point of view but for awhile starting in Part 2 we get to visit inside Kesaku Katsumata’s head – this is definitely not a good place – ugly guy and not the villain. The transitions from thought to speech are well done – I believe these comments are italicized in the book – hard to distinguish if the character thinking said them or not.
Although I can see where this will make a good series, Reiko is definitely an interesting protagonist, I doubt if I’ll return for the second in the series.
** Strawberry Night, mentioned in the book, is from a book by that name by Tetsuya Honda and the movie was released in Japan in January 2017.