Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Review: Last Winter We Parted by Fuminori Nakamura

A young writer arrives at a prison to interview a convict. The writer has been commissioned to write a full account of the case, from its bizarre and grisly details to the nature of the man behind the crime. The suspect, a world-renowned photographer named Kiharazaka, has a deeply unsettling portfolio—lurking beneath the surface of each photograph is an acutely obsessive fascination with his subject.
He stands accused of murdering two women—both burned alive—and will likely face the death penalty. But something isn't quite right, and as the young writer probes further, his doubts about this man as a killer intensify. He soon discovers the desperate, twisted nature of all who are connected to the case, struggling to maintain his sense of reason and justice. Is Kiharazaka truly guilty, or will he die to protect someone else?

Kindle Edition, 224 pages
Expected publication: October 21st 2014 by Soho Press 
Genre: Mystery

Kristine's Thoughts:

I received an advanced readers copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

The premise to this story is a good one. It is a dark story that is filled with twists, turns and surprises. Unfortunately the plot and the characters are so grossly underdeveloped that the entire story fell flat. I'm not sure if this is a case of the story getting lost in the translation or the fact that it is an extremely short book. The plot is so warped that it should have been enjoyable but because there was no connection to the characters and it moved so quickly it was just plain warped. A complete overhaul, a lot more development and a chance to connect with the story would greatly improve this story. Unfortunately, this book was not for me and I cannot recommend it. I am giving it 2 stars for the premise of the story and that is it.

About the Author
His debut novel (The Gun) won the Shinchō New Author Prize in 2002. Also received the Noma Prize for New Writers ini 2004 for Shakō [The Shade]. Winner of the Akutagawa Prize in 2005 for Tsuchi no naka no kodomo (Child in the Ground). Suri (Pickpocket) wont the Ōe Kenzaburō Prize in 2010. His other works include Sekai no Hate (The Far End of the World), Ōkoku (Kingdom), and Meikyū (Labyrinth)

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