Review: Six Four

Book: Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama
Publisher: Quercus, 2016
Genre: Murder mystery, thriller, Japanese
Source + Date Read
: Library, July 2016
Recommend: For fans of slow burn intrigue and mysteries
Book Pro’s: Such great intensity (though slow building) and characters
Book Con’s: It is reallllllllly slow building and what’s with that bit with the press?


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
More Information: GoodReads

Why do I love this book? I find it easier to do reviews when I’m able to think about them in bullet points, so let us begin:

  1. That cover is amazing: it’s so full of intrigue and just well done in general! I first heard about this book in Foyles when I noticed it in the windows and I was interested in it enough to go in, pick it up, flip through it and add it to me To Buy list. I didn’t end up buying it but I successfully got my hands on it last week at the library 🙂
  2. It’s a great slow burn: I’ve not read enough mysteries to know the different sub-genres to know whether it is a noir or murder thriller or anything like that. I will say that it is a slow burn crime novel, that takes us through a few days in the life of one Mikami as he deals with pressures from his work, his personal life (ie, daughter) and the growing intrigue of a past case, Six For
  3. Great cultural insight: I know for some this was a bit of a pain point, some parts that are a big deal in the book come off as weak or being blown out of proportion from a Western perspective- but I loved that part! It makes you think and take a few moments to just understand that people think differently or approach situations differently due to culture. I loved that aspect and I think the book would have been “lesser” if it had removed any of those elements
  4. Gender dynamics are “interesting”: in that, I’m not sure I terribly loved how women were portrayed here, but it was interesting to read a different perspective on gender and female cops (from a male point of view I guess). I will say that Natsuo Kirino is so far the best at portraying women in translated Japanese literature

So some recommendations before you approach this book?

  1. Prepare to take a long time to read this: It took me two nights to get through this but that was at 4 to 5 hours each night. This is a long book and if you don’t set time aside to power through it, you just won’t
  2. Prepare to be confused by all the M’s: SO MANY M’s! Minako, Mikami, Mikumo, Mizuki! Some are important to the plot and others aren’t, try your best to remember them all though
  3. Prepare for a few “….really” moments: there were a few times when I thought that someone’s reactions (a specific character)

So what do you think, will you read it?

Book read before this: The Body Reader by Anne Frasier
Book read after this: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling (audiobook)



About Claire (BWB)

It's Claire (aka Quirky) from Bitches With Books, an online book blog that serves up a healthy dose of book reviews, lists + literary madness.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, International, Thriller and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Let's talk! Leave a reply:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s