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Miyabe (All She Was Worth), Japan's bestselling mystery author, should garner new fans in the U.S. with this eerie tale that recalls some classic Japanese horror films. Mamoru Kusaka, a sensitive and intelligent teen, is troubled by the loss of his parents. Twelve years after his father disappeared following a municipal financial scandal, his mother has died of a stroke. As Mamoru tries to start a new life with relatives in Tokyo, his uncle, taxi driver Taizo Asano, is arrested after running over a young woman. While working to exonerate Taizo, Mamoru stumbles upon evidence that the victim may have been fleeing the person responsible for two other recent strange deaths that were officially classed as suicides. Miyabe excels at creating a supernatural feeling in a prosaic urban setting, and Mamoru is an engaging and original amateur sleuth. Both horror fans and mystery fans will savor this spooky mystery and want to seek out Miyabe's other work. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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Award-winning Miyabe (Crossfire; All She Was Worth) presents a mystery told through the voice of a 16-year-old boy. After his mother's death, Mamoru Kusaka moves to Tokyo with his aunt and uncle. Tragedy strikes again when Mamoru's uncle kills a woman when she runs in front of his taxi cab while fleeing a deadly pursuer. While his uncle is held in jail under investigation, Mamoru tries to clear his name. He returns to the crime scene, tracks down clues, and researches at his job at a bookstore. He finds the victim was part of a cruel scam involving four other women. Two of the women have already died mysteriously. Drawing closer to the last surviving woman and the killer, Mamoru must face his past and stop the dying. Miyabe's suspenseful tale touches on the occult and the manipulation of desperate men seeking revenge. A good selection for mystery collections.-Ron Samul, New London, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Mamoru Kusaka is haunted by the past. When he was four, his father vanished, and when it was discovered that the man had embezzled public funds, Mamoru and his mother were shunned by their community. Now, 12 years later, the boy's mother has died, and he has gone to Tokyo to live with his aunt and uncle. When the uncle, a cab driver, is charged with manslaughter in a traffic accident, Mamoru finds himself caught up in the eerily mysterious deaths of three young women. Strange phone calls, psychotic episodes at the department store where he has a part-time job, and the appearance of a wealthy man who may be his father add to the mystery that envelops the boy's life like a toxic fog. The book's reliance on subliminal advertising and hypnosis seem dated (it was first published in Japan in 1989), but Mamoru is an engagingly troubled protagonist, and his unanswered questions hold the reader's attention to the end of the convoluted plot.--Cart, Michael Copyright 2007 Booklist