Lucie Blackman—tall, blond, twenty-one years old—stepped out into the vastness of Tokyo in the summer of 2000 and disappeared. The following winter, her dismembered remains were found buried in a seaside cave. The seven months in between had seen a massive search for the missing girl involving Japanese policemen, British private detectives, and Lucie’s desperate but bitterly divided parents. Had Lucie been abducted by a religious cult or snatched by human traffickers? Who was the mysterious man she had gone to meet? And what did her work as a hostess in the notorious Roppongi district of Tokyo really involve?
Richard Lloyd Parry, an award-winning foreign correspondent, followed the case from the beginning. Over the course of a decade, as the rest of the world forgot but the trial dragged on, he traveled to four continents to interview those connected with the story, assiduously followed the court proceedings, and won unique access to the Japanese detectives who investigated the case. Ultimately he earned the respect of the victim’s family and delved deep into the mind and background of the man accused of the crime—Joji Obara, described by the judge as “unprecedented and extremely evil.” The result is a book at once thrilling and revelatory.
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Been into true crime for about a year now. This tops the list. This author is a journalist. He lives in Japan where this took place. Adept with the culture he presents what happened with the respect and awe of a people so different than Americans. That said, I've listened to the best. John E. Douglas and Roy Hazelwood, Ressler, Navarro, Kenda, Rule, Olsen and Olsen, as well as Jung and Freud... and none of those pull you into the human condition quite as well. But they all do. They all know their stuff. His other book, "The Ghosts of the Tsumani" is in the same vein, spellbounding. This isn't a review so much as my need to show this writer respect, and to express gratitude for this type of writing style. And to say Apple must have a True Crime section.