Book review: 『流星の絆』by Keigo Higashino

流星の絆 (りゅうせいのきずな)
Title: 流星の絆 (りゅうせいのきずな)
First published: 2008
Published: 2011
Format: Bunko
Page Count: 624
東野作品史上、売り上げNo.1 「大人になったら、三人で、犯人探して復讐しような」 幼い頃、両親を殺された洋食店「アリアケ」の三兄妹。14年後、大人になった彼らは結婚詐欺をして暮らしていた。最大のターゲットとして選んだのは、レストラン「とがみ亭」の御曹司。ところが、その名物料理は、懐かしい「アリアケ」と同じ味だった。 「これはお父さんのハヤシライスだ――」 何者かに両親を惨殺された三兄妹は、流れ星に仇討ちを誓う。14年後、互いのことだけを信じ、世間を敵視しながら生きる彼らの前に、犯人を突き止める最初で最後の機会が訪れる。三人で完璧に仕掛けたはずの復讐計画。その最大の誤算は、妹の恋心だった。涙があふれる衝撃の真相。著者会心の新たな代表作。

I would like to congratulate myself on having read a +600 pages book in Japanese!

As it was a book by Keigo Higashino, it was not a challenging read. I consider his books to be among the easiest books I have read in Japanese so far:

  • a writing style that I think is easy to get used to;
  • a detective story that focuses on the plot, and does not attempt to show literary feat by making long descriptions, using difficult words and complicated sentences;
  • enough suspense and tension to make you turn the pages without realising it.

Every time I read a novel by Higashino, I am amazed by his capacity to write so many books that are both very similar in style and contain a unique plot, story and mystery.

When I started reading the first page of 『流星の絆』, I felt immediately close to the characters and involved in their story. I wanted to know what would happen to them. The sympathy that bounds the reader and the three protagonists together during the very first pages only grows stronger when the story unfolds. This is certainly what made me read the relatively long setting part as eagerly as I did the end of the novel.

Being a rather long novel, 『流星の絆』 takes its time to work on its setting. The book opens on a criminal investigation that took place in the past, and this first part was totally enthralling for the detective novel aficionado that I am. Then the story jumps to the present and goes through a quieter part that sets the background for the upcoming main plot. Once this one started, I could not put down the book.

The story is mainly one of vengeance. As often in Higashino’s books, we see the story through the point of view of different characters, each with their personal desires, and it is hard to take a side.

I enjoyed reading this book very much. The second half was particularly entertaining. It is not my favourite book by Keigo Higashino because I found it a little too “kind”, I prefer detective novel to be a little darker. Nevertheless, it was a pleasant read and Higashino’s books are definitely one of my favourite entertainments in Japanese.

Note: There is a drama adaptation of this novel, I plan to watch it!