Book review: 『追憶の夜想曲』by Shichiri Nakayama

追憶の夜想曲 (ついおくのノクターン)
Title: 追憶の夜想曲 (ついおくのノクターン)
First published: 2013
Published: 2016
Format: Bunko
Series Number: 2
Page Count: 416
少年犯罪の過去を持つ、「悪辣弁護士」御子柴礼司が甦った! 岬検事との法廷対決の行方は?豪腕ながらも、依頼人に高額報酬を要求する“悪辣弁護士”御子柴礼司(みこしばれいじ)は、夫殺しの容疑で懲役十六年の判決を受けた主婦の弁護を突如、希望する。対する検事は因縁の相手、岬恭平(みさききょうへい)。御子柴は、なぜ主婦の弁護をしたのか? そして第二審の判断は……少年犯罪の過去を持つ、「悪辣弁護士」御子柴礼司が甦った! 岬検事との法廷対決の行方は?豪腕ながらも、依頼人に高額報酬を要求する“悪辣弁護士”御子柴礼司(みこしばれいじ)は、夫殺しの容疑で懲役十六年の判決を受けた主婦の弁護を突如、希望する。対する検事は因縁の相手、岬恭平(みさききょうへい)。御子柴は、なぜ主婦の弁護をしたのか? そして第二審の判断は……

This book is the second volume of the series Mikoshiba (御子柴シリーズ). The series follows lawyer Reiji Mikoshiba (御子柴 礼司), and I think that there are 4 volumes available now.

When I bought 『追憶の夜想曲』, I didn’t know that it was the second book of a series, and I really wish I had started with the first one, 『贖罪の奏鳴曲』.

Setting

When lawyer Reiji Mikoshiba decides to take on the case of Akiko Tsuda, everyone is baffled, especially prosecutor Kiyohei Misaki… There is no money to be gained and no way he can win this case because the evidence against Akiko is clear: she murdered her husband…

Review

I absolutely loved this novel! It is the first legal thriller that I read in Japanese, and it is a genre that I love.

But 『追憶の夜想曲』 was very challenging at times, especially at the beginning. There is a whole discussion during the first chapter that I could not follow at all, and I almost gave up after a few pages. I am very glad that I persevered because things went much smoother after that. Sometimes, difficult passages would appear, and I must admit that there are one or two dialogues that I have not understood well, but it did not prevent me from understanding what was happening or to know what conclusions were drawn.

The novel describes the three parts of the trial and Mikoshiba’s investigation in-between. The case is engrossing and Mikoshiba is a complex and interesting character. I wish that I had started with the first novel of the series because I guess that we learn more about Mikoshiba’s past and personality in it. If you are interested in this series, I recommend you to start with the first novel.

This is the second book I read by Shichiri Nakayama, the other one being from the series Hayato Inukai (刑事犬養隼人シリーズ), which was also a little difficult to read in Japanese. Between the two, I would say that I loved the Mikoshiba series better, and I will certainly read the other books of this series. But definitely, Shichiri Nakayama’s books are on the difficult side!