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The title of this review really says it all. I finished this book in two days which I almost never do, I cannot recommend this enough.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Although this book garnered 4-5 ⭐️ reviews, the partial chapter of the Kindle sample did not interest me. However, spoken-word Japanese—as is written in the sample—flows better when read aloud. The Audible spoken-voice sample was much better than the Kindle version.
This is a disquieting psychological thriller with elements of non-supernatural horror. This complex revenge story is told from the POVs of six different characters—vaguely reminiscent of Rashomon—each narrating and/or sharing a chapter in this short novel. As the story proceeds, the author’s puzzle pieces begin clicking into place, revealing characters’ motives and methods, delusions & psychological dysfunctions—leading to a surprising but deadly conclusion that will satisfy readers who like revenge stories.
I’m giving this 3 stars for several reasons:
1. As a whole, the pace was good, but some sections dragged, so I increased listening speed (a lot) or skipped ahead.
2. The “bad/evil” student is an adult-level genius, so he would know disease transmission routes. Or at the least, how to research the topic online.
3. I found it incredible that not a single student told a parent or had nightmares about the food-tainting incident at school.
4. How did a middle school boy get his blood drawn at a lab without a parent present? Or was it via a home delivery kit? Furthermore, would test results—that could be mis-delivered or opened by someone else—be mailed? With the patient’s name on it?
5. Moriguchi seems to know too much about other characters’ feelings and intimate conversations.
6. I rated the Audible narrators 3 stars because character voices were often too similar. Narrators were probably coached to pronounce Japanese words/names, at times they were not convincing—especially the male narrator. How many different ways can you say: “Manami” or “Mizuki” or “Mizuho”? These odd pronunciations stopped the story for me.