Two Must–Read Japanese Mystery Novels

  • CULTURE
  • Reading novels can take you to a whole different world. It especially seems so in Japan, where you can even see people who are unable to put their books down reading while they walk down the street. You can read almost anywhere, and there is so much to choose from. If you are looking for a new book to start reading, the first step is choosing the genre of the book. If you would like to try Japanese mystery novels, here are two masterpieces that will surely give you a good read.

    All She Was Worth (Miyuki Miyabe)

    “All She Was Worth” is a Japanese crime novel which has been published as “Kasha” in Japanese. The story is set in Tokyo during the 1990s when a man named Jun Kurisaka started searching for his lost fiancée. He was a banker who met a girl named Shoko Sekine in October 1990. They fell in love with each other and on Christmas Eve 1991, he proposed marriage to her.

    Upon discovering her credit card history is tainted with bankruptcy, she disappeared from his life. In order to track down his fiancée, he hired Tokyo Metropolitan police detective named Shunsuke Honma, who was on leave at that time. Because of this he has to do all things unofficially, having to navigate the limitations imposed by bureaucracy.

    Byakuyako (Keigo Higashino)

    This story begins in 1972 when a pawnshop owner was killed in Osaka. The investigation was scrutinized and several suspects were pointed out, but due to the shortage of evidence, the case was never solved. The story revolves around the son of the victim and the daughter of one of the suspects, spanning the 19 years between 1972 and1992. It seems that many mysterious and heinous crimes kept on happening between the two of them.

    Because of the unique story the novel has been adapted more than once, even including a stage drama in 2005. It was followed by a TV series in 2006 (Into the White Night) and was made into a Korean motion picture in 2009. In 2010, a Japanese version of the film has been released as well.

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