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Under the Midnight Sun    by Keigo Higashino order for
Under the Midnight Sun
by Keigo Higashino
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2016 (2016)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I had heard good things about Keigo Higashino's The Devotion of Suspect X, but haven't read it yet. So I picked up his new novel, Under the Midnight Sun, anticipating a fine read - and was in no way disappointed.

Though technically a mystery (and it opens on a murder) there is much more to this novel as it follows the repercussions of abuse and violence down the years, involving a myriad of intriguing characters. And all that time, even into his retirement, Detective Sasagaki continues to track the lives of those involved in the unsolved case that haunts him.

It all begins in 1973 Osaka, when the body of a pawnshop owner is found in an abandoned building - what was he doing there? The obvious suspects are investigated - the wife and her suspected lover, and the impoverished single mother the dead man visited, but the case remains unsolved. Soon afterwards the single mother dies an accidental death and her daughter Yukiho is taken in by a wealthy and refined relative of her father's.

From then one, we watch those who come into Yukiho's orbit and that of the dead man's young son Ryo as they grow up and manipulate those around them, for ends that often seem obscure. We see these two damaged children take their turn in dealing damage to others, though always with great charm. And when Sasagaki does eventually solve his very cold case, the subtle ending is a real stunner.

The number of intertwined plot threads makes this a more challenging read than the typical mystery, and I have to admit I had some trouble keeping track of the Japanese names. That's a small quibble though to a highly recommended read!

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