My rating: 5 of 5 stars
One winter’s evening three-year-old Makiko Kohara goes missing from a mall in western Japan while shopping with her family. When Chief Inspector Kenji Inoue of the Fujikawa police gets the call, he is playing with his own small son, Yuichi. Disturbed by the news, he mounts a search for the little girl, convinced she simply wandered off and all will be well as little girls are not abducted let alone killed in Japan. But once he gets to Seatopia, the new, western-style shopping complex, Inoue discovers the girl’s disappearance is very real indeed.
Once again Ms O’Harra weaves a complex tale, set in the equally complex world of Japanese society. There are many examples of parents both good and bad in this clever novel. The role of women is another theme which is threaded throughout the story. The novel follows the conventions of a mystery, with a myriad of suspects which are gradually whittled down.
But for me the strength of this book is the light the author shines on Japanese society and its conventions, which are shown through her character’s failings. Add to that beautiful prose and you don’t get a much better read than this!
I received a review copy from the publishers, Endeavour Press.