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Confessions Paperback – Bargain Price, 14 Aug. 2014
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When Yuko Moriguchi's four-year-old daughter died in the middle school where she teaches, everyone thought it was a tragic accident.
It's the last day of term, and Yuko's last day at work. She tells her students that she has resigned because of what happened - but not for the reasons they think.
Her daughter didn't die in an accident. Her daughter was killed by two people in the class. And before she leaves, she has a lesson to teach...
But revenge has a way of spinning out of control, and Yuko's last lecture is only the start of the story. In this bestselling Japanese thriller of love, despair and murder, everyone has a confession to make, and no one will escape unharmed.
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Think of CONFESSIONS as the Gone Girl of Japan....[A] gut-wrenching thrill ride...its thrust should hit home for any reader with a pulse. It's a nauseating tale of morality and justice, with violent turns that will drop your jaw right to the floor ― Los Angeles Times
Has the captivating quality of a gruesome car crash: As the murders grow bloodier and bloodier, the characters more and more twisted, we find ourselves fascinated and repulsed, unable to look away ― New Republic
A reader is almost certain to be caught off guard more than once by the revelations of this award-winning best seller....Implacable, relentless ― Wall Street Journal
Minato's intricate plotting and unnervingly understated sentences make the horrors follow each other as logically as pearls on a string ― NPR
A spellbinding read, a fascinating peek into modern Japanese society, and a glimpse into the dark corners of the human psyche ― Booklist
A creepy and mesmerizing psychological thriller that challenges the conventions of right vs. wrong, good vs. evil, and law vs. justice. There are no happy endings here, but Minato has pieced together an intriguing puzzle that will keep readers glued to their seats ― Library Journal
A nasty little masterpiece...That rare creature in fiction: an ambitious investigation into the darkest corners of human nature that - unlike certain relatively sluggish models by Dostoevsky and Camus that Minato references here - is also a crackling good yarn ― Chicago Tribune
A dark, dystopic portrait of Japanese adolescence gone wrong. If Albert Camus had written Heathers, it would have looked a lot like this. ― Alex Marwood, author of THE WICKED GIRLS
- Publisher : Mulholland Books (14 Aug. 2014)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 240 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1444732455
- ISBN-13 : 978-1444732450
- Dimensions : 12.9 x 1.6 x 19.7 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 89,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 11 May 2019
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This book is all about revenge as Moriguchi sets in motion her plan to enact revenge on her daughters murderers. It's so twisted and I loved it! I've definitely not read anything quite like this one before and it had me so intrigued throughout.
Each chapter is narrated by a different character who's in someway impacted by Moriguchi's last class which I loved as it meant that throughout we constantly get new information and perspectives on everything's that's happened and learn more about characters intentions. The only problem with this is that we do rehash the same events a lot which meant there was some repetitiveness to the book.
Overall though, I would definitely recommend this one to anyone looking for a twisted and unique thriller as you won't find one much better than this!
This is a literary mystery. We know what happened and we know who did it, but what unfolds is the story of the teacher’s revenge and the consequences of her actions. Different chapters are told from the viewpoint of different characters – one of the students in the class, the two boys accused of the murder, one of the boys sisters and his mother’s diary entries. We learn of what led the two boys to their actions and there is also a few delicious plot twists along the way.
If you are willing to try something a little different, then this will reward you with an excellent read. Japan is, obviously, culturally very different from the UK– I worked for a Japanese company for some years; but regardless of whether you know anything about the country, and the people, or not, is irrelevant. Yes, the attitudes are often a little different (the teacher, Moriguchi, is looked down upon by parents in the class for being a single parent to Manami, children of divorced parents generally live with the father and not the mother, the children strive for perfection in their marks at school and are often sent to ‘cram’ schools after class and teachers are much more highly respected), but these are minor things that are easily understood and sympathised with.
The author creates great tension, excellent characters and a really interesting plot. I look forward to reading more by Kanae Minato and hope more of her novels are translated into English. In Japan she is described as, “the queen of iyamisu,” (literally, a ‘eww’ mystery – where readers blurt out, “Eww” while reading her books. However, this is certainly not physically revolting or grisly in any way, although it does deal with the very dark side of human nature and what motivates people - whether it is to look for notoriety or to revenge the loss of the child you hold most dear. This is less a ‘whodunnit’ as a ‘why’ and also a look at the repercussions of the crime.
There's no way the husband didn't notice she drew his blood while he was asleep? There was no mention of her giving him sleeping pills. Even if she did, wouldn't he question it if he woke up and saw a prick from where the blood was drawn? That part was kind of ridiculous, not going to lie.
The students, their characters, what they did, all quite believable, even the bit with the female student testing the milk cartons.
But the bit with the teacher finding the bomb? And disarming it? And the bomb being cooled down to prevent explosion? I cannot believe a 13 years old student could come up with that much, not even get the ingredients for it. I can believe he'd make a bomb, just not such a sophisticated one.
And the teacher finding it I can also believe, I even buy her disarming it. But her finding the mother? And just walking into a university building and putting it there? Bit much. Though maybe if she was super keen on revenge.
*** SPOILERS END ***
Overall, a good suspense but could be better. Less far fetched. Enjoyable nonetheless!
At first, the wording was a little confusing to read, but after the first couple of pages you start to understand the way it is written and then it is impossible to put down. I have been really bored of the European psychological thrillers of late which focus more on the mundane and write about basic human nature as though it is the most shocking thing in the world, which is the complete opposite of what Kanae Minato does. She tells a story of something that most people would consider terrible, horrific etc etc but gives it a level of normality and matter-of-factness. Perfect for those that do not shock easily but are looking for a good book to settle down with. Cannot wait to read her other book and explore more iyamisu authors.