Book review: 『6月31日の同窓会』by Yukiko MARI

6月31日の同窓会 (ろくがつさんじゅういちにちのどうそうかい)
Title: 6月31日の同窓会 (ろくがつさんじゅういちにちのどうそうかい)
Genre:
First published: 2016
Published: 2019
Format: Bunko
Page Count: 352
「案内状が届くと死ぬ」その伝説が現実に―!?伝統ある女子校・蘭聖学園の卒業生が連続死する。OGの弁護士・松川凛子は、死亡した女たちが、存在しないはずの「6月31日」に開催される同窓会の案内状を受け取っていたことを突き止める。やがて凛子にも案内状が届き―。悪意が渦巻く女の友情と学園の“闇”が深まる中たどりついた真相とは。先読み不能、一気読み必至の長編ミステリー!

Setting

The main topic of the book is that former students of the same school receive an invitation for the “6月31日の同窓会” and die soon after.

Review: Liked it, but expected more…

First of all, the setting was very appealing to me: when it comes to genre fiction, I like mysteries and murders, but most of all, I like mysterious murders. This book seemed to be exactly that: June, 31st?? People receive an invitation and die mysteriously soon after that??

On one hand, I was happy with this book, I read it relatively quickly, it has a good mystery, and I also liked how many things are connected with the past, and how complex the relationship between students of the same class can be. The part “secrets of the past/complex human relationship” was good and this is what I really enjoyed in the book.

On the other hand, I was a little disappointed by the lack of investigation and suspense. With such a setting, I was expecting something more gripping. I would say that there is no real suspense, and that I sometimes felt frustrated with the characters’ attitude and passivity.

There are a lot of characters in this novel and a lot of different times. I highly recommend that you take notes while reading, to put everything in chronological order and see how events are linked with each other.

Overall, it was not difficult to read, a little more difficult than Keigo Higashino but still okay to me, but it was hard to tell and recall who is who and who did what and when. Maybe there were too many main characters for the size of the novel, with the consequence that I didn’t feel that I know well each of them. When a character was mentioned after a while, I had to check my notes because I didn’t remember exactly their role in the story. So if you read this book, you should take notes!

To conclude, the novel was good, but I cannot help but feel a little disappointed. I certainly had too high expectations!