Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Confessions by Kanae Minato - 2008 - translated from Japanese by Stephen Synder - 2014



Confessions by Kanae Minato - 2008 - translated from Japanese by Stephen Synder - 2014

Winner of the ALA's 2015 Alex Award for the Best Adult Books That Appeal to Teen Audiences

- Nominated for the 2014 Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel

- One of Booklist's Best Crime Novels of the Year

I have not read much in way of Japanese crime novels.  Confessions by Kanae Minato sounded interesting in the Amazon descriptions and has won numerous awards so I decided to give it a try.

The story is told from several perspectives.  The central question is who murdered the four year old daughter of a teacher and what was the motivation for the murder.  The opening chapted centers on the mother giving a speech to her high School students in which she resigns, telling them she knows which of her students murdered her daughter.  Her reasons for not turning them in are simple.  The laws in Japan are very lax on juveniles, even killers get out of Youth confinement with no record by 21.  She has devised a diabolical Revenge. One which puts all The students in danger,

There are also chapters from the point of view of the killer in which he explains his reasons, as well as another student tricked into helping him who thought it was a prank.

I found The characters well developed, i learned 

a bit about School in Japan.  The cruelty of one of the boys is chilling.  We learn enough about the famlies of the boys to try to figure out why they thought it would be fun to kill a four year old girl.

Kanae MINATO ( かなえ, born 1973) is a Japanese writer of crime fiction and thriller.

She started writing in her thirties. Her first novel Confessions (告白, Kokuhaku) became a bestseller and won the Japanese Booksellers Award. The movie Confession directed by Tetsuya Nakashima was nominated to 2011 Academy Award.

She has been described in Japan as "the queen of iyamisu"(eww mystery), a subgenre of mystery fiction which deals with grisly episodes and the dark side of human nature. From Goodreads 

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