Two prostitutes have been murdered in Tokyo. Yuriko had been working as a prostitute all her adult life, starting while still at school, where her stunning beauty compensated for what she lacked in intellect and commanded attention from older men. Kazue worked for a blue-chip company and had good career prospects, but was unpopular with colleagues ...
Two prostitutes have been murdered in Tokyo. Yuriko had been working as a prostitute all her adult life, starting while still at school, where her stunning beauty compensated for what she lacked in intellect and commanded attention from older men. Kazue worked for a blue-chip company and had good career prospects, but was unpopular with colleagues and felt isolated. She chose to walk the streets at night where she hoped to get noticed. Twenty years previously, both women were educated at an elite school for young ladies, and both exhibited exceptional promise prior to their brutal , unnecessary deaths. How and why did this tragedy occur? With narration from Yuriko's embittered, unattractive sister and through the girls' journals and diaries Kirino allows their shocking story to unfurl. As with "Out", "Grotesque" gets under the skin, and Kirino's analysis of the female psyche grips the reader. The extreme need to succeed, and the vicious desire to be accepted in the bewildering environment of modern life is explored here with acute and chilling insight. "Grotesque" is a masterful and haunting achievement.
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Publishers Weekly, 2007-01-22 Readers with a taste for ambiguity and oddball characters will enjoy this twisted novel of suspense from Japanese author Kirino (Out). The Apartment Serial Murders case, which involved the brutal killings of two Tokyo prostitutes, has gripped the country, leading to the arrest of a Chinese immigrant, Zhang Zhe-zhong, for the crimes. Strangely, Zhang freely admits to murdering the first victim, Yuriko Hirata, but denies the near-identical slaying 10 months later of Kazue Sato. The events leading to the killings are related from a variety of perspectives-that of Yuriko's unnamed older sister, bitterly jealous of her sibling's good looks; of each victim; and of the accused. Unusual connections-for example, Kazue was a classmate of the older sister-cast doubt on the veracity of individual narrators. This mesmerizing tale of betrayal reveals some sobering truths about Japan's social hierarchy. 4-city author tour. (Mar.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
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