Originally Published under the title R.P.G. in 2001
A quick, easy read (less than 200 pages). It took a couple of chapters for me to really get into it, but once the plot began to unfold and and the characters develop more I found it difficult to stop reading. The plot revolves around the murders of two individuals, linked through a previous affair. One of the victims, Ryosuke Tokoroda, is revealed to not only have had numerous affairs with much younger women, but also to have developed relationships with a small group of people in online chat rooms that forms a sort of second family, despite his having a wife and daughter.
The bulk of the story takes place in an interrogation room with the self-claimed desk jocky Takegami and the three members of Tokoroda's "shadow family" as Kazumi, Tokoroda's daughter, watches from behind a one-sided mirror, and as such the majority of action is through dialogue. About halfway through the book, the true perpetrator's identity is blatantly obvious, but this does not decrease the exciting rising action as the truth slowly unfolds at the machinations of Takegami's interrogations.
It's a pretty cut-and-dry whodunit, and as such the characters are all pretty flat and the plot doesn't leave you really thinking all that much. But, if it's a quick, fun read you're looking for, I could suggest this one.
(Note: this book review and more is also posted on my personal blog, The Dirty Gaijin)
Tuesday, February 12, 2008