'This novel is a real, out-of-the-blue original. I've never read anything like it'
New York Times Book Review
THE MILLION-SELLING JAPANESE CRIME PHENOMENON, NOW A UK BESTSELLER.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2016 CWA INTERNATIONAL DAGGER.
NAMED IN NEW YORK TIMES 100 NOTABLE BOOKS OF 2017.
THE NIGHTMARE NO PARENT COULD ENDURE.
THE CASE NO DETECTIVE COULD SOLVE.
THE TWIST NO READER COULD PREDICT.
For five days in January 1989, the parents of a seven-year-old Tokyo schoolgirl sat and listened to the demands of their daughter's kidnapper. They would never learn his identity. They would never see their daughter again.
For the fourteen years that followed, the Japanese public listened to the police's apologies. They would never forget the botched investigation that became known as 'Six Four'. They would never forgive the authorities their failure.
For one week in late 2002, the press officer attached to the police department in question confronted an anomaly in the case. He could never imagine what he would uncover. He would never have looked if he'd known what he would find.
Loved Six Four and want more Yokoyama? Then why not try Seventeen or Prefecture D . . .
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
When it first released in Japan, Hideo Yokoyama’s staggering crime epic sold a million copies in just six days. For good reason. The English translation loses nothing of Yokoyama’s devilishly good and decorously detailed storytelling. We follow Yoshinobu Mikami, a Tokyo police officer who's picked up a 14-year-old case involving a murdered seven-year-old girl and kidnappers who escaped with a ransom of 20 million yen. Mikami unlocks shocking truths before Yokoyama brings an almighty sting into the tale.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Great introduction to Japanese crime fiction
Six Four is two stories - a teenage girl who has run away and a young girl abducted, held for ransom and brutally murdered. Both sets of parents looking for answers.
To start with it was a little confusing and not the most exciting – it felt like the author was setting the scene quite considerably but as I got immersed myself into the story, I realised how much it actually needed.
The story was quite an eye opener to cultural differences between the UK and Japan. The way the Japanese police force operates is very different to the UK force (or my understanding of it). In the UK we have trained individuals as press liaison roles whereas in Japan, it appears one day you are a detective investigating a case, the next you could be head of the press office. Six Four also shows the politics and hierarchy within the Japanese police force, it is very dominant theme in the story line and the press office is not viewed as a promotion or the department to work in! The Japanese press appear to have a very different standing and attitude.
I did get confused with names - Mikumo, Mikami and Minakon for example. The names used did feel very authentic but trying to read them as they should possibly be said slowed my reading down. So I came to the arrangement with myself that I would “pronounce” the names in my head in a way that would sound vaguely like they actual would but not necessarily precisely correct.
I couldn't fault the translation; I must admit, I forgot that it was written by a Japanese author and had been translated into English.
Six Four has conspiracy, office politics, kidnapping, cover ups and it’s not the sort of book you can pick up and put down. You have to expect to invest time into this tale – given, on kindle (which is the format I read) it is just short of 600 pages, it’s not a quick read. It is the first Japanese crime fiction I’ve read (I didn’t even know it was such a genre) but I will definitely try some other Japanese crime authors.
Many thanks to Quercus Books, Crime Files and Netgalley for giving me this eBook for my unbiased opinion.