Malice by Keigo Hagashino has a plot that is deceptively straight forward. Often I have dream of novels written with straightforward accounts but still keep you glued to the end. Well, dreams do come true. If you are a fan of mystery-thriller novels you realize that not all murder cases are the same. Some thrillers are fast-paced, some are slower than a snail and very few have the rare mix of mystery and pace that one enjoys while trying to crack the mystery themselves.
Keigo Hagashino is a Japanese author and even though I love Japanese manga/anime I had never heard of him until fellow blogger Maniparna suggested reading his novel after reading my post on Top 5 Wednesday. Being partial toward all things Japanese, I jumped ahead and bought two of his books. So Keigo Hagashino an engineer by profession loved writing and at the age of 27 he won an award for his writing and he has written plenty of thriller/mystery gems since then. His best-seller novel The Devotion of Suspect X has sold over 2 million copies.
Malice is 4th novel in the series of Detective Kyoichiro Kaga by Keigo Hagashino.
The plot goes something like this. Acclaimed bestselling novelist Kunihiko Hidaka is brutally murdered in his home on the night before he’s planning to leave Japan and relocate to Vancouver. His body is found in his office, in a locked room within his locked house, by his wife and his best friend, both of whom have rock-solid alibis. Or so it seems.
Written accounts of Osamu Nonoguchi (Hidaka’s best friend) and Detective Kyoichiro Kaga builds the narration of the story. The question isn’t Whodunit, it is out soon enough but why-dun-it? Without a proper motive, the police are helpless as the court will throw the case out the window. As detective Kaga finds more evidence we learn not to trust Osamu Nonoguchi’s accounts. If you are like me, as the novel proceeds I start building my own assumptions, enjoy the process of piecing things together and feel like yes! I have found the culprit. Just when you feel like you have uncovered who the murderer might be a new leaf turns up. Leaving the reader confused.
Friendship is a child’s greatest ally. Even the best friendships are tested by time. So why does things change between friends?… Or they don’t?
It’s especially hard when one has everything to lose and the other has everything to gain.
The narration is masterful writing by Hagashino. The plotline is thick and just fun enough to confuse the reader but make them feel happy about it. What happened that fateful night? What happened years before any of this began and why suddenly? Hagashino doesn’t let the WHY DONE IT part out until the very last page. All through the novel, we wonder who is actually guilty of the Malice?
Osamu Nonoguchi and Hidaka’s friendship is as twisted as the chewy candies. Thankfully, detective Kaga’s strong character with the thirst for justice shines through the novel.
<– Malice by Keigo Hagashino
The magic is, you completely forget that the novel is a work of translation. Alexander O. Smith and Elye Alexander have done phenomenon translation. Reading Malice by Keigo Hagashino is a fun process, among the many other things it tells you how wonderful a slow paced crime novel can be.
Buy Malice By Keigo Hagashino Here: Malice