First Impression Friday will be a meme where you talk about a book that you JUST STARTED! Maybe you’re only a chapter or two in, maybe a little farther. Based on this sampling of your current read, give a few impressions and predict what you’ll think by the end.
When a man is found murdered in an abandoned building in Osaka in 1973, unflappable Detective Sasagaki is assigned to the case. He begins to piece together the connection of two young people who are inextricably linked to the crime: the dark, taciturn son of the victim and the unexpectedly captivating daughter of the main suspect. Over the next twenty years we follow their lives as Sasagaki pursues the case – which has remained unsolved – to the point of obsession.
Keigo Higashino’s Journey Under the Midnight Sun is my 7th read for the month and is my second Higashino work. In a way, it is a respite from the traditional Japanese tale as I switch gears towards mystery and suspense. This is rather a very thick book, like twice longer than any of the other Japanese works I’ve read during the month.
The narrative starts in 1973 in Osaka. The lifeless body of a pawnshop owner was discovered in an abandoned property. Detective Sasagaki, an experienced policeman and investigator takes on the case. He commenced interrogation with the victim’s immediate wife. Everything seems to add up and the wife and son’s testimonies were corroborated by the pawnshop manager.
With a blind curve thrown his way, Detective Sasagaki soon turns his focus on the pawnshop’s customers. This lead soon led him to Fumiyo Nishimoto, a single mother who was occasionally being visited by the victim. How are they related? Is Fumiyo his mistress? Did she kill him? But ever before the indomitable Detective gains momentum, the trail again turns cold. And that was when the story started getting a little too convoluted.
When the murder trail started to fizzle out, the story took on a 360-degree turn as it starts to follow the lives of some of the centrifugal figures from the murder. From mystery, it suddenly turns into something else. I was left confused by the direction the story is taking although I kind of have an idea how it is going to end – quite predictable from the synopsis. Now, what I am expecting is to learn how Detective Sasagaki solves it in the end.
More importantly, what I want to know is the motivation for the murder. What made the killer tick? Right now, it is quite difficult to establish as the story tends to jump from one phase of the characters’ lives to another. I just read that this was originally published as a series of short stories and it does show. I feel like I am reading a comic book that comes out weekly. I am finding it rather difficult to connect the dots. I initially thought that this was going to be a quick-paced read, basing from my first experience with Higashino’s work but, so far, this one drags. I am not losing hope though for I have a thing for mystery fiction. I just hope the plot gets clarity as the story progresses. I am hoping to complete it on or before Monday’s holiday.
How about you fellow reader? What book are you reading this weekend? I hope you enjoy it! Keep safe always and enjoy reading!