Book review: 『リバース』by Kanae Minato

Title: リバース
First published: 2015
Published: 2017
Format: Bunko
Page Count: 338

リバース has been adapted into a drama series featuring Tatsuya Fujiwara (藤原竜也).


Overall, I enjoyed reading 『リバース』, but I somehow had a hard time to connect with the protagonist and to feel involved in his mission.

It took me two attempts to read this book as the beginning is very slow, and I gave up after 50 pages the first time I tried to read it. The main thing that discouraged me from reading this book the first time might be the way the story was told. The narration uses a lot of flash-backs, with a flash-back sometimes leading to another one, and I felt that the main story was not progressing, and that it was hard to connect with the characters.

I also personally dislike when novels talk about coffee, and this was a main theme in 『リバース』. I love coffee, I love novels, I love drinking coffee while reading books, but somehow I don’t like coffee in books. I feel like authors who talk about coffee in their books always end up saying the same things, and I feel like I have read similar descriptions of coffee a thousand times already.

However, when the story does kick off, the book becomes much more engrossing. I found the story very well done. There is a mystery to be solved, but solving it will lead our protagonist to make unsettling little discoveries, showing that things you took for granted are not always what they seem. This book says a lot about human relationships, friendship and how we perceive ourselves and others.

If the beginning is slow, the end is excellent. When you think that the story is over, the novel reveals a final unsettling truth…

I am glad that I picked up this book again and read it until the end. It is not my favourite Minato, but it was an enjoyable read.

Other books by this author:
往復書簡 (おうふくしょかん)
告白 (こくはく)
Cover of 白ゆき姫殺人事件. The drawing on the cover shows a woman lying on the ground, eyes closed, certainly dead, facing the camera. Around her, we see the feet of all the onlookers, some are taking pictures with their phone.