Mystery Thriller Book Review


ConfessionsTitle: Confessions
Author: Kanae Minato
Publisher: Mulholland Books
First Published: August 5, 2008
Pages: 234
Genres: Crime, Mystery, Psychological, Thriller
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
Rating: ★★★★


Her pupils murdered her daughter. Now she will have her revenge.

After calling off her engagement in the wake of a tragic revelation, Yuko Moriguchi had nothing to live for except her only child, four-year-old child, Manami. Now, following an accident on the grounds of the middle school where she teaches, Yuko has given up and tendered her resignation.

But first she has one last lecture to deliver. She tells a story that upends everything her students ever thought they knew about two of their peers, and sets in motion a diabolical plot for revenge.

My Review:

How would you react if your child was murdered by to of your students? Yuke is a teacher that finds herself conflicted between her grief as a mother and her duty as an educator. This book left me speechless, and I struggled to collect my feelings on it. It’s absurd and unbelievable and the story relies heavily on plot twists to keep the story chugging. The writing is heavy-handed and it is very clear that this is a debut work. Despite all that I found myself utterly engrossed in the story and characters and wanted to know what would happen next, finishing in a single sitting.

Where Minato shines is in the way that she writes morally grey characters. Every character has desires, motivations, anxieties, they are well fleshed out. The story is told from multiple points of view and each narrator unravels small pieces of a much larger and extremely complicated plot. The way that the characters talk about each other adds a new layer to their personalities and I loved how this book constantly challenges your previous assumptions about any particular character or situation.

The book is more than the typical crime thriller because of the way that it handles the characters and situations in the novel. I would be remiss if I didn’t point out how exaggerated the story is, it will definitely test the boundaries on what a reader can view as realistic and believable by venturing into the absurd. If you can forgive the borderline ridiculous plot twists then this book is a thrill ride that is hard to put down. I loved it even when I was shaking my head at how brutal but also silly the characters could be. It’s a fun read and a decent book for those looking to get into Japanese crime literature. It has a dark and tantalizing premise and has such strong characterizations that the book is satisfying for someone looking for more than just empty thrills. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more English translations of this author’s work in the future and I suggest you all do too.

“But doing something good or remarkable isn’t easy. It’s much easier to condemn people who do the wrong thing than it is to do the right thing yourself.”

Trigger Warning: Violence, Death, Child Violence

I’m a Filipino American blogger, historian, and lazy writer. I enjoy books, video games, anime/manga, and smoking hookah.

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