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Malice Paperback – 12 Oct 2014
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From the bestselling Japanese author of The Devotion of Suspect X comes Malice, the most acclaimed novel in Higashino's outstanding Detective Kaga series.
About the Author
Keigo Higashino is the single bestselling, best-known novelist in Japan and around Asia, with numerous television and film adaptations of his work appearing in several languages. He's the author of The Devotion of Suspect X, which was the finalist for the Edgar Award for best novel, and Malice, among many others. He lives in Tokyo, Japan.
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Points I Liked About Malice
Pace: In this book, everything is evident before the police but Detective Kaga finds something amiss in the whole story which is why he works toward establishing the actual reason behind the murder. The murderer confesses to the crime but Detective Kaga is not convinced with it. So, he keeps going back and forth on his theories trying to understand what really prompted the murderer to kill. Even though the detective forms several theories and nullifies them, the book still is fast paced and does not decline in intrigue. I kept me hooked with its plots twists and turns. Just when I thought I knew what motivated the murderer, everything spun out of control and I was confronted with a beyond belief climax. I admire Keigo Higashino’s writing that kept me involved with the story till the very end.
Points I Did Not Like About Malice
Climax: I may be new to the thriller genre but I know what I want from a suspense novel and if I do not get that then I feel highly disappointed. I had a similar problem with Higashino’s Salvation of a Saint. I appreciate the way Detective Kaga went about solving the murder mystery but I was not fully convinced by his explanation of how he cracked the case. I applaud the detective’s observation skills but I felt that the murderers’ motive lacked depth. To carry out such a detailed plan seemed unconvincing given the primary motive. Had the reason behind the murder been more convoluted, I would have been convinced of the murderer’s efforts. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the most intense point, the motive was somewhere between 5 and 6 while the efforts put in to execute such a master plan was beyond 10. So, you get my point? For me, the reason and the execution did not match in intensity. Though I was shocked by the final revelation, it felt disappointed in retrospect.
Final View: I would recommend this book only for Higashino’s story building and character depth. Warning: the murderer is more twisted than you can imagine.
Originally posted on AlphaGirl.in
While broadly the themes of both the book are the same - detective thriller with multiple threads and layers sewed in, the storyline and characters are different. Devotion of Suspect X had a strong underlying emotional content and as a reader, I was very much glued to what happened to the central character. This was missing in this book.
While the book was still an intriguing one to read and there was a level of unpredictability as to what would have happened, I was never behind any character. At one point of time, I wanted to know the truth just for the sake of completing the book and I was not really into it.
Despite the negatives, there is a lot of things that makes the book worth reading - the descriptions of school bullying in Japan, the story of authors and how they write books and the detective patterns make the book worth the time.
A murder happens in the initial few pages of the novel. The murdered man is an accomplished author. The body is discovered by the dead man’s recently married wife and his childhood best friend who is struggling to establish himself as an author. Even though both the dead man’s wife and the friend has perfect alibis, the real suspect is uncovered by the astuteness of the Detective Kaga.
But the class of the novel is not in breaking the alibi created by the murderer, but the sharpness of the Detective, who realizes the murderer has specifically wanted to be caught in spite of creating those perfect alibis.
But Why?. When Kaga questions the murderer, he simply states, “I can’t tell you why I did what I did when I did it.”
In the mid-way of the novel, the author (of this book) weaves the novel with a detailed confession by the murderer and let’s us believe the “Why” has been uncovered. I thought that was the end of the story, but Heaven “No”…….the brilliance of the author which I alluded to the class of Sir Conon Arthur Doyle surfaces from this portion. Even though it makes the reader wonder why the author is carrying on, the final answer pours out in a coherent fashion in the final chapter.
Read Malice to know why the murderer was filled with Malice and what are it’s origins. Even though you might feel that I have disclosed so much about the novel, I assure you will not be deprived of the thrill I experienced during the reading.
Finally, though a decently sized novel, I finished it in one sitting. Credits to the author.
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