Sunday, November 8, 2020

#57: The Aosawa Murders by Riku Onda

 A mass poisoning at a family gathering in the 1970s, where only an enigmatic blind child survives, resonates through the decades in Riku Onda's The Aosawa Murders.

The plot sounds straightforward but the storytelling is unique, with each chapter telling the story from different perspectives, including characters with major roles such as a neighbor child who later writes a bestseller about the murders and an origami-loving detective down to people who only were involved peripherally, such as the neighbor of the suspected killer, the author's research assistant, and the children of various characters like the family housekeeper.  

Newspaper articles, interviews, and segments from the bestselling novel-within-a-novel also play an unusual role.

This is a strangely elliptical crime novel that had me guessing right to the very end, and even then I wasn't sure what had happened.  

Really a fascinating and offbeat read from a popular Japanese writer.  This is her first novel translated into English, via Bitter Lemon Press.  I hope more of her work is translated.  Recommended.

I got this for my birthday and read it steadily.

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