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Review: Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama

Hi guys,

I have had this book on the back burner for so long now it’s not even funny, I started it months ago but put it down in favour of some shorter books. Now I have time to read again and I’m trying to finish reading any incomplete books and get some reviews out for you guys! Not only do I enjoy writing them, I enjoy seeing your opinions too and interacting with you, so I thought Six Four would be a good one.

Plot Overview:

The story is set in Japan, through the eyes of Mikami, a press officer for the police department and his uncovering of an age old famous case: Six Four. The infamous case was the disappearance of a seven year old girl, kidnapped for a ransom and never seen again. It’s widely seen as one of the biggest police failures as the investigation drew to a loose end and thus has a reputation which precedes it. Mikami ties together more unsettling clues and has to face some harsh truths about the system in which he works. Throughout the novel a reader becomes aware of different policing procedure and also gains an insight into aspects of Japanese culture, politics and the fractured relationships and bonds between the characters.

My thoughts: 

The first thing I’ll say is how dense and demanding this book is. By that I mean you really have to be in the right headspace to attempt reading this novel and pay close attention to the details. It’s definitely not a conventional crime thriller and not a page turner in the ways one may expect when picking it up. I think this is why it’s taken me so long to actually finish it, I have to admit I didn’t particularly enjoy this book.

I found myself drawn in at the beginning and by the premise, it sounded so interesting but I found myself quite bored at times and having to re read a paragraph multiple times as I was so disconnected. It focuses so much on how the police works and inter departmental feuds that it left me a bit nonplussed.

I will say though I did enjoy learning more about Japanese culture and the different way the police and media operate within the novel and also seeing the fractured relationship Mikami has with his wife and daughter. I found these elements of the story; Ayumi’s disappearance the most intriguing factor and also finding out about the Six Four case but other than that I really didn’t feel inclined to finish the book. I forced myself through it so I could get the answers and some sense of closure.

After reading other peoples rave reviews of this book, I feel like I’m missing something or maybe the greatness went straight over my head? Either way, I have to be honest and say this just wasn’t for me, perhaps I’ll try another Japanese crime thriller soon, with a less convoluted plot! I felt a bit disappointed given how good the plot sounded and I really wanted to enjoy it but the spark just wasn’t there.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a unique take on a crime thriller and intense procedural novels. Perhaps a more discerning reader will enjoy it. However I don’t think it’s for everyone and it certainly wasn’t the right fit for me, but see how you feel!

Until next time,

Rumaanah x

 

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8 thoughts on “Review: Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama

  1. I haven’t heard about this book before, but the premise of the story is definitely something I’d enjoy. I’ll probably (at some point) give this book a go. Thanks for review it. If you are interested in reading more stuff about Japan, may I suggest “An artist of the floating world” by Kazuo Ishiguro who is a British novelist of Japanese ancestry. I would also recommend “Villain” a thriller by Shuichi Yoshida.

    1. Yeah I would say you should definitely give it a go if you’re into the genre. I think it’s a very unique novel for sure. Thank you for the suggestions! I love books set in Japan / with Japanese elements!

  2. See the Japanese setting wins me over instantly, but if the plot is very heavy and confusing it might be a tough read, but I still might invest since you still recommend it 🙂

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