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?
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:
- 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 🙂
- 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
- 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
- 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?
- 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
- 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
- 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)