Detective Galileo, Keigo Higashino’s best loved character from The Devotion of Suspect X, returns in Silent Parade, a complex and challenging mystery—several murders, decades apart, with no solid evidence.
A popular young girl disappears without a trace, her skeletal remains discovered three years later in the ashes of a burned out house. There’s a suspect and compelling circumstantial evidence of his guilt, but no concrete proof. When he isn’t indicted, he returns to mock the girl’s family. And this isn’t the first time he’s been suspected of the murder of a young girl, nearly twenty years ago he was tried and released due to lack of evidence. Detective Chief Inspector Kusanagi of the Homicide Division of the Tokyo Police worked both cases.
The neighborhood in which the murdered girl lived is famous for an annual street festival, featuring a parade with entries from around Tokyo and Japan. During the parade, the suspected killer dies unexpectedly. His death is suspiciously convenient but the people with all the best motives have rock solid alibis. DCI Kusanagi turns once again to his college friend, Physics professor and occasional police consultant Manabu Yukawa, known as Detective Galileo, to help solve the string of impossible-to-prove murders.
Saori Namiki is missing! She is the eldest daughter of Yutaro and Machiko Namiki. She had a beautiful voice (concert quality) and was absolutely stunning. Where could she have disappeared to? Three years later her body is discovered in a derelict house in the outskirts of a neighboring village.
The writing is very complete and covers all of the characters in the village. Some of them have known Saori since she was a small girl. Everyone in the village felt she was a credit to her family, would go far in life, and she was a talented treasure.
Kanichi Hasunuma is a stranger to the village and is disliked by everyone. He is abrasive and obnoxious. The Namiki’s own a restaurant and put up with his bullying every day. He requires that Saori refill his tea cup each time he drinks his tea and requests demeaning service from the young lady. He has been seen more than once pinching her buttocks and then laughing or smirking at her displeasure. He is finally banned from using the restaurant, however, he continues to come around with his haughty and demeaning attitude.
The whole village suspects Hasunuma has done something to Saori but they have no proof or witnesses. She was such a happy and outgoing young lady. A potential star musical performer! The discovery of her body destroyed her parents and her boyfriend left the village searching for answers. Who would have done such a thing to such a beautiful and gentle creature?
The writer builds this story like the integral detective investigation it took to solve it. Each character in the story is proven to have a solid alibi during the commission of the crime. The novel involves rather intricate devices to dispatch people. When the corpse of Hasunuma is discovered in a closed room the plot thickens. There are very few marks on his body and yet he is dead.
This entire novel reads like a crime investigation primer. How could some of the crimes actually have been committed? I marveled at the intricacies of the various methods and thought processes utilized to complete the crimes. I recommend the book as a way to delve into the minds of Japanese detectives and criminals. 4.5 stars – CE Williams
We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions.
Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five Stars
Genre: International Mystery & Crime, Police Procedurals
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Print Length: 345 pages
Publication Date: December 14, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link(s): Silent Parade [Amazon]
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Born in Osaka, he started writing novels while still working as an engineer at Nippon Denso Co. (presently DENSO). He won the Edogawa Rampo Prize, which is awarded annually to the finest mystery work, in 1985 for the novel Hōkago (After School) at age 27. Subsequently, he quit his job and started a career as a writer in Tokyo.
In 1999, he won the Mystery Writers of Japan Inc award for the novel Himitsu (The Secret), which was translated into English by Kerim Yasar and published by Vertical under the title of Naoko in 2004. In 2006, he won the 134th Naoki Prize for Yōgisha X no Kenshin. His novels had been nominated five times before winning with this novel.
The Devotion of Suspect X was the second highest selling book in all of Japan— fiction or nonfiction—the year it was published, with over 800,000 copies sold. It won the prestigious Naoki Prize for Best Novel— the Japanese equivalent of the National Book Award and the Man Booker Prize. Made into a motion picture in Japan, The Devotion of Suspect X spent 4 weeks at the top of the box office and was the third highest‐grossing film of the year.
Higashino’s novels have more movie and TV series adaptations than Tom Clancy or Robert Ludlum, and as many as Michael Crichton. [Goodeads]
©2021 – CE Williams – V Williams