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Evil and the Mask

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted November 8, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    In this author¿s second novel to be excellently translated into

    In this author’s second novel to be excellently translated into English, a story in an extremely different genre takes the reader into the realm of crime noir of an unusual nature. It tells the story of an 11-year-old boy whose father informs him that he is to be trained to become a “cancer” on the world, creating havoc and misery wherever he goes. The family, it seems, has developed a long line of such evil, each generation spawning one such monster.

    So the training begins, and a young girl is brought in to become a companion to the boy. They fall in love, part of the father’s plan to subject the boy to “hell” at some future date. Instead the boy, three years later, murders his father and consequently ends up just as he might have had the original plan come to fruition. He spends his life thereafter trying to hide from the very fact that he has committed the ultimate crime and, at the same time, trying to protect the girl from evil.

    The prose is as simple and straightforward as the tale is twisted. It is a far different effort from this author’s previous novel, “The Thief,” which also described an antihero, albeit of a different stripe. This book is a complicated crime novel with deep psychological undertones into the minds of warped persons. It is told in the first person by the protagonist as he endures the horrors to which he is subjected, yet demonstrating his efforts to overcome the onus of what he has done and his background.

    Recommended.

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  • Posted July 22, 2013

    This is a dark story, but it¿s full of themes that everyone can

    This is a dark story, but it’s full of themes that everyone can appreciate on some level. Not feeling like you belong, haunted by your past and your secrets, feeling as though someone’s life has been completely ruined just because you exist. The journey that Fumihiro takes is a desperate one, and Nakamura shows you this path by flipping back and forth between the past and present. Using short, suspenseful chapters, he keeps you on the edge of your seat, wondering what will happen to these characters. You can’t help but put yourself in their shoes, wondering what you would do in their situation. Nakamura blurs the line between light and dark, good and evil. He illustrates that nothing in life is completely black and white. We all live in various shades of gray.

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