Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama

“SIX FO513QdLqfCxL._SX317_BO1,204,203,200_UR.
THE NIGHTMARE NO PARENT COULD ENDURE.
THE CASE NO DETECTIVE COULD SOLVE.
THE TWIST NO READER COULD PREDICT.

For five days in January 1989, the parents of a seven-year-old Tokyo schoolgirl sat and listened to the demands of their daughter’s kidnapper. They would never learn his identity. They would never see their daughter again.

For the fourteen years that followed, the Japanese public listened to the police’s apologies. They would never forget the botched investigation that became known as ‘Six Four’. They would never forgive the authorities their failure.

For one week in late 2002, the press officer attached to the police department in question confronted an anomaly in the case. He could never imagine what he would uncover. He would never have looked if he’d known what he would find.”

The first thing I need to say about this book is that it’s a slow burn….but it’s worth it.  To build the story and to set the scene the author has given us a lesson in Japanese police procedure and the politics therein.  And fascinating it is, but there is an awful lot of it.  Once I started the book and realised there were over 600 pages I did feel a little daunted but I LOVE Japanese crime fiction so wanted to persevere.

The story is very clever and the twist is unexpected.  There were certainly several heart pounding moments which had me willing Mikami on.

The only downside I would raise is that the majority of the main characters in the book all have very similar names and I found it quite difficult at times to differentiate between them.  I understand why this was done but found it quite confusing as I progressed through the story.

If you’re looking for an epic read then this could be the one.

Three out of five stars.

Thanks to Quercus and NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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