Filled with the Rashomon Effect of a multitude of possibly unreliable witnesses, The Aosawa Murders is the first English translation of an award-winning 2005 Japanese mystery.
“If there are ten people in a house and nine die, who is the culprit? It’s not a whodunnit. The answer’s easy—it’s the survivor, of course.”
But in the Aosawa household, seventeen people are poisoned with only blind twelve-year-old Hisako surviving. Would she even have a way to get the poison much less put it in everyone’s glasses? And what about the delivery man who takes responsibility for the murders in his own suicide note. Over thirty years have passed and an unnamed interviewer is asking the witnesses again for their stories. As each implicates another, the story unwinds its circular plot. For example, the supposedly uninvolved writer of the speculative fiction book about the crime was actually there at the time. Plus she had made inexplictable changes to the interview quotes. Was it a code to draw out the real murderer?
I adored the twisty portion of this slow-moving tale. But I didn’t like the last part of The Aosawa Murders at all. Unfortunately, it is only recommended to readers looking for a foreign tale—not mystery readers. 3 stars.
Thanks to Bitter Lemon Press and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.