Author: Ryu Murakami
Publisher: Penguin Books
American release date: March 27, 2007
Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Psychological Thriller/192 pages
Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★
Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes
New father Kawashima Masayuki stands beside the bed of his infant daughter every night, in the still of the night, and tells himself he will not stab her with the ice pick he holds in his hand.
His wife has no idea of his thoughts, and would naturally be horrified if she only knew. Kawashima has to do something to rid himself of this urge. Better a complete stranger than his child, right? Not like he hasn’t done that before.
Kawashima is a very methodical man, as is very evident in the way he goes about making plants to inflict his urges on a prostitute he intends to hire. Nothing can be left to chance, and nothing can ever lead back to him. It won’t, not if he plays his cards right. And when he succeeds, his baby and wife will be safe, right?
This psychological thriller by Ryu Murakami explores the thought processes in this man, who otherwise appears to be normal, but beneath it all is filled with personal demons he struggles to control. Namely the impulse to cause harm with an ice pick. And then there is the prostitute he hires through an agency, Chiaki, who has demons of her own. A woman bold enough to pierce her own nipple.
This is my first book by this author, but it won’t be my last. I am currently reading Audition, also by him. I honestly had no idea what was going to happen, as we explore the minds of these two people, brought together by chance, both of whom struggle with painful pasts. I hope the movie is half as good as the book.
This book is very well written and flows smoothly, one of those hard to put down books you are too anxious to find out what happens next. I highly recommend it.