Book Review: Journey Under The Midnight Sun

Trying out something new – a book review – since I love books so much and the feeling after finishing a good book can be quite incredible, that I need to write it all down.

Journey Under The Midnight Sun
by Keigo Higashino

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When a man is found murdered in an abandoned building in Osaka in 1973, unflappable detective Sasagaki is assigned to the case. He begins to piece together the connection of two young people who are inextricably linked to the crime; the dark, taciturn son of the victim and the unexpectedly captivating daughter of the main suspect. Over the next twenty years we follow their lives as Sasagaki pursues the case – which remains unsolved – to the point of obsession.

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

Journey Under The Midnight Sun was absolutely brilliant, haunting and compelling. Loved how we get pulled into the plot from the very beginning. Just like how it led detective Sasagaki to obsession, I could not put the book down until all the pieces were put together at the very end. 

There is little resolution, and perhaps after reading through 539 pages of twists and turns from different POVs (it was not easy keeping up with all the Japanese names for sure), the ending felt a little abrupt. But it did leave me with an uneasy feeling, a chill down my spine, which I believe is intended by the author.

I would have liked to see some kind of interaction between Ryo and Yukiho. Though the author does drop clues at their relationship and connection as the story progresses, the reader never actually gets to see them together in the same scene, almost parallel to how they kept the relationship secret to everyone around them. Would have liked to read a backstory of their relationship – was it purely symbiotic as suggested? Or did they actually love each other? And how did they keep it hidden for 20 years?

The book comes down to a central character, Yukiho. Who really is she, and how is this extraordinarily beautiful and well-refined girl related to the string of murders and crimes surrounding her? This is a story of a girl whose innocence was stolen, replaced with a stone-cold heart that knows only how to use men and women in the same way they have used her. It is a story about secrets, and scars. It is a mystery, but at its heart, a tragedy.

5 stars.

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