After hanging up, I left the phone both, but before going to the café I decided to take one more look at Hidaka’s place. When I got there, the lights were still all out. But this time, I noticed that the Saab was parked in the driveway. That bothered me.
Author: Keigo Higashino (Author) Alexander O. Smith (Translator)
Publisher: Minotaur Books / Macmillan, October 07, 2014
Format/Source: eBook purchased from iBooks
Series: Kyochiro Kaga
Kunihiko Hidaka, a novelist, is murdered in his home. The police name a suspect and secure a written confession, but lead detective Kyochiro Kaga isn’t ready to close the case. The correct “who” is in police custody, of that he has no doubt; but the “why” doesn’t ring true.
Determined to uncover the real motive, Kaga probes deeper into the relationship between Hidaka and his killer. What he discovers is a tempestuous history that includes allegations of plagiarism and infidelity. But the genuine reason for Hidaka’s murder remains elusive. To find it, Kaga must engage Hidaka’s killer in a battle of wits.
- Higashino keeps the suspense high with rotating points of view using notes, written accounts, and interviews. Each provides a fresh view of the mystery and new clues.
- Malice‘s plot is an intricate puzzle with pieces that Higashino rearranges over and over. Many times the puzzle is solved, only for Higashino to tear it apart and put it back together in a new way.
The murderer’s reveal happens early in the plot. Much of the novel’s focus is on Kaga’s persistent investigation to find the murder’s true motive. Action is on the calm side, with most of it being conversations between characters. Words aren’t wasted with extensive description of scenery or people. That’s not to say there is no excitement in Malice; there are plenty of unexpected twists. The simple delivery of the story, though, enhances Malice‘s charm. The writing is straightforward, and Higashino makes every word he does use count. The result is a well-formed mystery that moves at a steady pace and can be read in one sitting.
Recommended for readers seeking a mentally stimulating mystery.