Sunday, May 27, 2018

A Quiet Place by Seicho Matsumoto

A Quiet Place
by Seicho Matsumoto
translated by Louise Heal Kawai

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2016
Publisher: Bitter Lemon Press
Genre: Mystery, Crime, Thriller, Japan
Paperback: 224
Rating: 5

First sentence(s):
Tsuneo Asai was on a business trip to the Kansai region when he heard the news.

While on a business trip to Kobe, Tsuneo Asai receives the news that his wife Eiko has died of a heart attack. Eiko had a heart condition so the news of her death wasn’t totally unexpected. But the circumstances of her demise left Tsuneo, a softly-spoken government bureaucrat, perplexed. How did it come about that his wife—who was shy and withdrawn, and only left their house twice a week to go to haiku meetings—ended up dead in a small shop in a shady Tokyo neighborhood?

When Tsuneo goes to apologize to the boutique owner for the trouble caused by his wife’s death he discovers the villa Tachibana near by, a house known to be a meeting place for secret lovers. As he digs deeper into his wife's recent past, he must eventually conclude that she led a double life...

My two-bits:

I was taken by surprise with how this slow burning mystery evolved. The protagonist does some of his own detective work in regards to the death of his wife. And then, the story turns. It turns in a way that made me anxious with dread. Certainly something to be said about "letting sleeping dogs lie."

It was interesting to get exposed to the life of a civil servant worker with its system and in-house politics.


* part of World Reads challenge - Japan pt 2 (here)
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