Celebrated Japanese author Keigo Higashino makes his authorial power internationally known with Malice, the latest installment in his mystery series featuring police detective Kyochiro Kaga. This well-crafted dual narrative will entice and perhaps even outwit the most seasoned mystery readers.
This time Kaga finds himself on the case of a well known novelist, Kunihiko Hidaka, who was found murdered in his study by his wife and his best friend the night before his departure to Vancouver. The victim’s former best friend happens to be Osamu Nonoguchi, Kaga’s former colleague from his time as a public school teacher prior to joining the force.
Kaga is relentless in his search for Hidaka’s murderer, but there are key evidentiary elements that don’t add up for it to be as one-and-done as a break and entry gone awry. On a hunch he targets Nonoguchi, despite his vetted alibi, but does not have hard evidence to link him to the case—yet. Kaga’s persistency and detective precision in his search to expose the truth is exhaustive, and has him digging back so far as to uproot past unpleasantries such as middle school bullying practices and to question the supposed friendship between Hidaka and Nonoguchi.
This astute read is methodically constructed and will continuously challenge and enchant readers through strategic layering and its calculated release of critical information. Malice exhibits how the smallest seed of dislike can manifest into sinister, unjustified hatred. Someone who shares a smile with you could be plotting your demise.