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Malice: A Mystery    by Keigo Higashino order for
by Keigo Higashino
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

This is a different, but very interesting, kind of mystery. Written by Keigo Higashino, the 'most widely read novelist in Japan,' and translated by Alexander O. Smith, the story begins with an account written by Osamu Nonaguchi, a friend of the murder victim. This is followed by notes taken by Inspector Kaga.

We and Inspector Kaga know very soon who killed the popular Japanese novelist. The problem is, why did he do it? Several versions of the events that led to the murder are explored, but there are many false leads. As we follow the precise written statements of the Inspector and Nonaguchi to discover what really is the truth of the past, we gradually come to understand the depth of the murderer's hatred for his victim and the deliberate steps he took to realize his plan.

This mystery, though seemingly solved early on, is really an exercise in understanding how the success of one man can inspire another, less successful, person to a complicated act of revenge. It is this that Inspector Kaga cannot let go of. He somehow must find out the reason for the act. And in doing so, we are treated to a twisty tale whose solution continues unresolved until the very end. Quite an accomplishment.

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