Five words from the blurb: Tokyo, hostess, dismembered, fate, family
Lucie Blackman was just 21-years-old when she disappeared in June 2000. She had been working as a hostess in Tokyo and for months no-one knew what had happened to her. It was suggested that she’d joined a cult or run away with a boyfriend, but after a difficult search her dismembered remains were discovered in an isolated cave. Richard Lloyd Parry spent 10 years researching the case; interviewing everyone and gaining detailed information about the personalities of those involved. People Who Eat Darkness provides an insight into the bizarre world of the Japanese hostess and explains the legal system in the country. It is a fascinating book that must rank as one of the best pieces of true crime ever written.
The pace of the book was slow and Parry’s meticulous research was obvious throughout, but what made this book special was the way that every single person was thoroughly developed. I felt as though I knew them, understanding their actions and feeling their pain/frustration.
The book was perfectly structured. In the hands of a lesser author the story could be seen as quite simple, but Parry arranged the fragments to create an engaging book that introduced new threads of information at exactly the right time. Complex moral questions were raised throughout and I’m still thinking about what I’d do if faced with similar circumstances.
Lucie’s case was high profile and I remembering hearing some details from the press at the time, but this book revealed how little the public actually know about an individual case. I was shocked by certain aspects of the story and surprised by the number of twists and turns.
I love Japanese culture and this book provided me with lots of interesting snippets of information. I found the details about the police force particularly revealing – who knew that the symbol for the Tokyo Metropolitan Police is an orange fairy named Peepo?!
Overall this was an impressive book that will shock and entertain you. Highly recommended.
The thoughts of other bloggers:
It was a fascinating and intense read. The Literary Stew
…a thorough investigation of a crime that can offer no answer to its questions. In Bed with Books
…a compelling and unputdownable read, that will haunt you for days afterward. A Bookish Way of Life