Review – The Tattoo Murder Case March 15, 2012Posted by thehypermonkey in 2.5 stars, Foreign, Mystery/Thriller.
Tags: "book review", akimitsu takagi, books, japanese authors, japanese fiction, mystery, reading, the tattoo murder case
by Akimitsu Takagi
A female’s limbs and head are found in a locked bathroom, and all the doors and windows of the house are locked. The dismembered body is discovered by two admirers, Professor Heishiro Hayakawa, a collector of tattoo skins, and Kenzo Matsushita, the naive, lovestruck younger brother of Detective Chief Inspector Daiyu Matsushita. The police’s problems are compounded by two additional murders. A tattooed man?the brother of the first victim?is found dead and has been skinned, and victim number three, the jealous lover of the woman, is found dead from a gunshot to the head. Frustrated by their inability to solve these crimes, the brothers Matsushita, who have joined forces, enlist the services of Kyosuke Kamizu, the “Boy Genius.” Kamizu methodically analyzes the deaths, interviews the prime suspects, and quietly solves the case. Intermingled among the twisted plot is the Japanese tradition of myth and superstition, ritual, male and female relationships, the strong tradition of family and family honor, and the relationships of younger brothers to older brothers.
This book was hard to read. I bought the Kindle version and it was filled with typographic errors. There were too many to count. It was ridiculous and extremely frustrating. I think it colored my enjoyment of the book itself.
As for what I could make out of the book, it wasn’t a very decent mystery. You have what was supposed to be a perplexing crime that stumps the local crime force. It’s steeped in exotic undercurrents of the forbidden tattoo world. Then along comes the “Boy Genius” Kyoskuke Kamizu who solves it in little under a week or so.
It kind of reeked of a Sherlock Holmesian typecast setting. It just seemed ripped out of the pages of an Sir Ian Doyle novel then placed in a Japanese cultural setting. This might have been refreshing if the characters had been anything but two-dimensional.
The whodunnit was fairly obvious from the get-go. The only question for me was how. So that kept me reading until the end. On the whole though, it was a very unsatisfying read. It had me rolling my eyes and muttering under my breath.