Book review: 『ケモノの城』by Tetsuya Honda

ケモノの城 (けもののしろ)
Title: ケモノの城 (けもののしろ)
Genre:
First published: 2014
Published: 2017
Format: Bunko
Page Count: 480
警察は、自ら身柄保護を求めてきた少女を保護した。少女には明らかに暴行を受けたあとがあった。その後、少女と同じマンションの部屋で暮らしていた女性を傷害容疑で逮捕するが、その女性にも、暴行を受けていたと思われる傷があった。やがて、少女が口を開く。お父さんは、殺されました―。単行本刊行時に大反響を呼んだ問題作がついに文庫化。読者の心をいやおうなく揺さぶる衝撃のミステリー。

It is the first time I read Tetsuya HONDA, but I know that he is a very famous author of thrillers and mystery novels. I also think that some of his work is translated into English.

Setting

The police is investigating a shocking case involving abuse, torture and maybe murder. Through questioning and field work, the police tries to understand what really happened in a case where the boundary between victim and persecutor is thin.

Review

I think that 『ケモノの城』is a good novel with a good story and an interesting investigation. However, I was not expecting so much violence and it was at times difficult to read. A lot of scenes describe physical and psychological torture, and I have several times considered giving up the novel because reading it gave me stomach ache.

While you would expect horrible things to happen in a thriller, you also know that everything is fictional. In 『ケモノの城』, the way things were described make them feel extremely realistic, to the point when I was relieved whenever I found unknown vocabulary in the descriptions!

Apart from this, the story is great, with enough suspense to make me want to finish the book in spite of everything. It also raises interesting questions about the victims’ attitude towards their aggressor and their situation. What the book describes is hard to believe (something similar to the Stockholm syndrome), but worth thinking about.

To conclude I would say that 『ケモノの城』is a good thriller, but I don’t personally recommend it, and I would never choose it as a gift for someone. I am used to reading thrillers that stage all kinds of horrible murders, but there is something in 『ケモノの城』that really disturbed me. Maybe this only shows that Tetsuya Honda is a great writer…