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By Keigo Higashino
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By Keigo Higashino
Translated into English by Alexander O. Smith
Thorndike Press Large Print, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-4104-7584-8
Genre: Locked-Room Mystery / Police Procedural

Reviewed by Angela Evans - March 20, 2015

Malice is an engaging police procedural from the pen of the famed Japanese author, Keigo Higashino. In this story, Police Detective Kyochiro Kaga must solve not only a locked room mystery, but a locked room within a locked building mystery. The case revolves around the murder of the novelist, Kunihiko Hidaka. To complicate matters, one of the potential suspects in this case is an old friend of Kaga's. His old friend, Osamu Nonoguchi is also a writer and he was, purportedly, the best friend of the deceased. As the case unfolds, as it should in a mystery, nothing is what is seems, hidden motives abound, as do suspects. However, what is not clear, is the answer to the burning question, "Why was Hidaka killed?"

Malice is an intricately plotted and paced story that will have you glued to the book from the very first page. The story was translated into English by Alexander O. Smith, and for the most part, the story flows seamlessly with only a small hiccup here and there, but nothing that spoils the flow of the story. There are a lot of twists and turns in this story, and you have to keep on your toes to find all the 'hints' that may, or may not, point to the culprit and his or her motive.

In addition to being a smashing mystery, the English translation of Malice not only offers English language readers a chance to read a book from one of Japan's best-selling authors, but also to gain insights into Japanese culture and their criminal justice system. If you are expecting an Agatha Christie cozy-style locked-room mystery, you will be disappointed. This is a complex book told from many viewpoints, and every time the story seems about to conclude, some new tidbit of evidence surfaces that sends Kaga, and the reader, down new avenues. There is real artistry in this book, and it far outshines most traditional mysteries. Malice borders, if not actually crosses over the line, into the realm of literature. As such it will find a ready audience not only with mystery fans, but also with anyone who enjoys reading literary fiction. Best of all, this book is now available in large print, providing an even wider audience for Higashino's work. If you a looking for a non-traditional mystery to read that not only satisfies the mind, but the heart as well, give Malice a try, I don't think that you'll be disappointed!

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