Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama
The Last Word Review
The epic crime novel that took Japan by storm, ambitious and addictive from the start.
There is a lot of expectation surrounding Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama, it sold a million copies in Japan in six days does a book consisting of over 600 pages survive the hype quite clearly yes.
Some readers may skip this crime novel because of its size and it is a hefty tome to carry around with you, but I can assure the reader that they really should give Six Four a go, this is a real slow burner of a novel but builds and you will become immersed into the story and you will forget the size of the book if you like to lose yourself in a gripping crime drama then this is very much a book you should read.
Six Four is wonderfully translated by Jonathan Lloyd-Davies and we learn of the abduction of a seven-year-old back in 1989 the anxious parents listened to the ransom demands, the young girl is murdered and the kidnapper makes off with the vast ransom. The crime is never solved.
We now fast forward 14 years later and the case has been reopened with Press director Yoshinobu Mikami taking centre stage being a former detective now transferred he has to deal daily with surly media representatives rather than the job he would rather be doing that is solving crimes for Mikami this case is somewhat personal as his own daughter has been missing for a number of weeks after suffering a mental breakdown.
What we have in Six Four is dramatic, and sinister plot that plays on the old themes of Japanese society and culture. The story goes delves into real detail and Mikami has to work through all the police politics and office machinations to try and solve the case, not helped by a press pack that is baying for blood as the police are refusing to name the driver in a traffic accident. Time is against Mikami and not only time as the drama unfolds and the reader becomes more and more involved in the story. Six Four makes for compulsive reading.
I found reading this enthralling crime drama that you need to concentrate on for most of the storyline, as you can easily get confused with the great detail, this may not be for everyone’s taste in reading but what it lacks in pure investigation technique it sure makes up in its richness as far as characters are concerned and incredible detail. This is not a pure and simple who done it crime novel there is so much more to Six Four. It is one of those incredible novels that the more you put in the more the reader will get out of it. This is not just any crime novel it is a seriously deep and thoughtful crime novel that rewards the reader.
Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama was released on 3 March by Riverrun (Quercus Books). Available through Waterstones and all good bookshops.