Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Book Review: Shadow Family

Shadow Family written by Miyuki Miyabe with English-language translation by Juliet Winters Carpenter was an interesting novel. ((Published by Kodansha International!))

"...Police investigating the double murder of a middle-aged company employee and his college-age girlfriend discover e-mail correspondence linking the victim with members of an online fantasy family, in which he plays the part of "Dad." Meanwhile, his real-life teenage daughter is assigned police protection after complaining of being stalked. The investigation focuses increasingly on the shadow family, as there is evidence that the members had emerged from the chat room and started meeting up off-line.
Veteran Desk Sergeant Takegami finds himself unexpectedly in center state of the investigation after his colleague is hospitalized. Adding to his surprise, he is partnered with his old friend Detective Chikako Ishizu after a break of fifteen years. Working on a hunch, they collaborate to unravel the fine line between fantasy and the harsh reality of murder..." (Book Jacket)

This is a pretty quick read, and despite that fact I was pretty entranced in it. The writing style is significantly different than most books I read, and I read a lot. Miyabe weaves a web of shadows and intrigue through-out the book, egging the reader on with tid-bits of information to try and guess the out come. Which, is in my opinion, what a good detective novel should do. If you're up for a little mystery, Japanese-style you may want to check this title out.
Three and a half stars ***.5

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