Title: The Thief
Author: Fuminori Nakamura
Publisher: Soho Crime
Publication Date: 20 March 2012
Format: E-Book -PDF
Genre: Literary Fiction
Source: ARC from NetGalley
The Thief is a seasoned pickpocket. Anonymous in his tailored suit, he weaves in and out of Tokyo crowds, stealing wallets from strangers so smoothly sometimes he doesn’t even remember the snatch. Most people are just a blur to him, nameless faces from whom he chooses his victims. He has no family, no friends, no connections.... But he does have a past, which finally catches up with him when Ishikawa, his first partner, reappears in his life, and offers him a job he can’t refuse. It’s an easy job: tie up an old rich man, steal the contents of the safe. No one gets hurt. Only the day after the job does he learn that the old man was a prominent politician, and that he was brutally killed after the robbery. And now the Thief is caught in a tangle even he might not be able to escape. (Goodreads Synopsis)
This was a captivating short novel that drew you in right from the first page.
Our anti-hero is a gifted pickpocket, but one whose past is fast catching up with him. I loved following him as he commented on his work, his history and the people around him. His relationship with the young boy was particularly touching.
The prose flowed beautifully, suggesting a very sensitive translation and the story moved at a steady pace, holding my interest throughout. This is a book that is deceptively simple at first glance, but which reveals hidden depths when you consider it more carefully.
This would be a great read for current fans of Japanese literature and those coming to such works for the first time.