Sunday 21 June 2020

Book Review: A Man by Keiichirou Hirano (Contemporary)

A Man

Author: Keiichirou Hirano
Amazon Crossing

Publication Date: 1 June 2020 (2018)
eBook - PDF
ARC via NetGalley


Akira Kido is a divorce attorney whose own marriage is in danger of being destroyed by emotional disconnect. With a midlife crisis looming, Kido’s life is upended by the reemergence of a former client, Rié Takemoto. She wants Kido to investigate a dead man—her recently deceased husband, Daisuké. Upon his death she discovered that he’d been living a lie. His name, his past, his entire identity belonged to someone else, a total stranger. The investigation draws Kido into two intriguing mysteries: finding out who Rié’s husband really was and discovering more about the man he pretended to be. Soon, with each new revelation, Kido will come to share the obsession with—and the lure of—erasing one life to create a new one.

A Man is a book that blends a mystery story with an interesting psychological character study. Through Kido, we come to understand why someone would seek to assume a different identity, and the positives and negatives that come with that. The plot was nicely paced and the translation vibrant and flowing. There is a certain amount of emotional distance in the style of the prose; however, I think that is intentional, as it makes us view events and explanations more objectively. Overall, this was a captivating and engaging read and I would certainly be keen to try more of Keiichirou Hirano's books in the future, should more of them be translated into English (or should my Japanese improve enough to be able to read the original). Recommended to readers seeking a contemporary mystery with a psychological bent.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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