Acclaimed best-selling novelist Kunihiko Hidaka is found brutally murdered in his home on the night before he’s planning to leave Japan and relocate to Vancouver. His body is found in his office, a locked room, within his locked house, by his wife and his best friend, both of whom have rock solid alibis. Or so it seems. At the crime scene, Police Detective Kyochiro Kaga recognizes Hidaka’s best friend, Osamu Nonoguchi. Years ago when they were both teachers, they were colleagues at the same public school. Kaga went on to join the police force while Nonoguchi eventually left to become a full-time writer, though with not nearly the success of his friend Hidaka. As Kaga investigates, he eventually uncovers evidence that indicates that the two writers’ relationship was very different that they claimed, that they were anything but best friends. But the question before Kaga isn't necessarily who, or how, but why. In a brilliantly realized tale of cat and mouse, the detective and the killer battle over the truth of the past and how events that led to the murder really unfolded. And if Kaga isn't able to uncover and prove why the murder was committed, then the truth may never come out. Malice is one of the best-selling - the most acclaimed - novel in Keigo Higashino’s series featuring police detective Kyochiro Kaga, one of the most popular creations of the best-selling novelist in Asia.
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- Irene P
Interesting story, but performance was hard
It's really the same story told three times, once by the suspect, once again by the detective, and then finally in its true form, with no misdirection or misinterpretation. As an author, this is akin to a great magician who can perform a trick, then perform it again from the opposite vantage, then actually show you how it was done, and every single time you are amazed and astounded in different ways. Higashino is such a master of the form, he can actually play with it, turning it on its head, almost reinventing it, and the result is still compelling.
It isn't Jeff's fault at all, since the way the story was written, the author intended it to seem as if specific characters were recounting large swathes of the plot in their own words. To translate this to a spoken performance the Mr Woodman adopted the voice of the specific character, and then read out many long passages of the story, including all dialog etc sticking always to that voice. The single voice for all that section reminds the listener that the events are being conveyed and interpreted by that character. This is a critical point in what makes the overall story work. Unfortunately a giant chunk of the book is in the voice of Detective Kaga, who is very monotone. As a character this makes him an interesting detective, but as a narrator it is quickly tiring to listen to. Still, as I said, I think the plot actually requires this, as it is so important to the what makes the story work.
- Michael Mathews