Six Four. The nightmare no parent could endure. The case no detective could solve. The twist no listener could predict.
For five days in January 1989, the parents of a seven-year-old Tokyo schoolgirl sat and listened to the demands of their daughter's kidnapper. They would never learn his identity. They would never see their daughter again.
For the 14 years that followed, the Japanese public listened to the police's apologies. They would never forget the botched investigation that became known as Six Four. They would never forgive the authorities their failure. For one week in late 2002, the press officer attached to the police department in question confronted an anomaly in the case.
He could never imagine what he would uncover. He would never have looked if he'd known what he would find.
©2012 Hideo Yokoyama (P)2016 Quercus Publishing Ltd
Kildonan by the sea
A very interesting book that explores many aspects of human nature, and the meaning of serving within an organization or a society that demands subservience to superiors and devalues individuality, topics that are expressed sometimes with great eloquence others with mixed success because of the demands of the story line.
The main character is bullied and ostracised in a manner that I think most western organizations would not tolerate, he is always conflicted with his duty and his personal needs and putting those needs in the background for the greater good, for a second we see him strive for a modicum of individuality but is soon stifled and put in his place.
The thriller part of the story is well developed and very interesting but stretched out for too long because of the existential angst of the main character.
A good police story with a clouded moral message that I think was lost in translation.
The reading is given in a monotone that is a bit disconcerting given all the passions in the story.
It's a struggle to get into, the Japanese names and the regional British accent Burnip gives to them doesn't quite fit, it's also very dense almost an examination into the Japanese police system, however at about the 5 hour mark it clicked and turned into something quite special and unique. It also takes a direction that I never saw coming. Outstanding
It was hard at first to get all the characters names because they were Japanese.But the story was one not to put down. You wanted to know what was going to happen next. Being a true story and asking my Japanese Pen Friends it is really a big book and film. I would love to see the film too.
I loved the detective who had been given a new roll as the Press Director. The character is great all the way through the book.
I enjoyed the ending but will not say what happens. But it is not what you expect.
Yes the problems the Press Director went through with father of the kidnapped daughter and the problems he had with his own daughter.
It is hard work but worth the read. You will get into the characters and remember the names.
Slow fast awesome
Mikami, whose decency and honour shone
I felt happier at the end
It's dreadfully slow and I nearly gave up, but if you can hang on through the relentless tedium in the first half, the story is suddenly intriguing and then more stuff happens and I found it hypnotic. I'm so glad I stuck with it.
I couldn't finish this I'm ashamed to say. Could be the cultural differences but I found it hard to get into the mindset and get emotionally involved with the characters. I got really fed up of the political stuff as it felt very repetitive. I also struggled with keeping track of who was who, however that could easily be down to the fact that I am unfamiliar with the style of names.
This is a 'Marmite book' I would need to do a psychometric assessment first.
I liked this more than 'The Goldfinch' which is saying something.
Very good. Narrated with the paucity of emotion that I would expect from a policeman native of Japan.
On the far side of a dark river
OK, this isn’t the easiest book to follow with a seemingly endless list of characters with names that all sounded alien and disturbingly similar given there were no familiar identifiers such as Origami, Kawasaki or Sushi. Very early in the plot I felt the need to draw up an organisation chart to keep track. As the burden increased I transcribed to Powerpoint as approximately 50 individuals were finally identified.
This is a slow-burner and sometimes it felt like damp leaves were being added to a peat fire as the police politics were described in minute detail. But it was all very much worth it. It was worth if only for the last couple chapters when all the threads were deftly pulled together in a deeply satisfying, cleverly intimated, conclusion.
The storyline itself, once untangled from all the fluff and the personal and political crisis of the man in character , was interesting and well thought out. But it gets lost amongst endless interpersonal conflict, and drawn out questions about the police as an institution.
Basically it's far, far to long. But the most frustrating part was having a bland narrator, with pompous interpretations of the characters voice with little consideration of the cultural nuances of the characters and structure. Why some of these characters sounded in part like Only Fools and Horses/ The Sweeny- I'll never understand. If this has been read by a person with an accent and understanding appropriate I would have enjoyed it far more.
"A Slow, Worthwhile Story"
Six Four is not a thriller, or even a mystery. Oh, there is a mystery within the various subplots, but it isn't the core focus.
No, Six Four is an in depth look into the police force in Japan, as seen by the head of Media Relations. It is actually more interesting than it sounds, but don't go in expecting bang zoom action. This is a novel about reflection, examination and duty.
I recommend it, but with a reminder that Six Four is a slow, deep crawl.
"Sweet Jesus this was boring"
Narration draggy even after speeding it up, in desperate need of guide to characters, and their motivations remain a mystery. The main character is in public relations for the police and half the book is taken up with the relationship with the press. The mystery is a very small part and every bit discussed is gone over and over. While many may find the discussions of Japanese sensibilities very interesting, it made it very hard for me to understand how the characters would behave and frustrating to see their perverse priorities. it's just really, really boring, sorry to say.
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