Book Review / Japanese Author / Murder Mystery

Newcomer: Another innovative murder mystery from Keigo Higashino

I always look forward to reading Keigo Higashino’s books and this time too I did not lose even a single second to request his latest book Newcomer once I came to know that the book was available on NetGalley. And, you know what; the book was on my kindle the next day as the publishers approved my request. Thank you so much, St. Martin’s Press for approving my request. You really made me happy. I got so excited after getting my hands on this book that I left all the other books that I was reading midway and started reading Newcomer. I couldn’t hold my excitement of reading a new book by Keigo. This, in a way, reflects my love for Keigo Higashino.

The plot of the book under review is a simple one. A woman gets murdered in her apartment and our beloved Detective Kyoichiro Kaga gets the charge to investigate this murder. A number of suspects who could have killed the woman gradually emerge and Kaga works his way through these suspects. His investigation forms rest of the story. After reading this, you will feel that it looks like a routine murder mystery and there is nothing new in it. But, here you are wrong. Yes, it is a routine murder mystery but the way it has been presented is really brilliant. The book does not give you a linear storyline or a linear plot. On the other hand, it gives you a number of smaller plots or a number of small investigations that merges to form one large central plot. Read the book and you will understand clearly what I am trying to say.

There is a common saying that too many cooks spoil the broth. Likewise, too many characters in a book can spoil the story. This is what we generally think. Isn’t it? However, this is not the case in the present book. There are a large number of characters in addition to Detective Kaga. But these characters do not create a confusing environment in your mind. On the other hand, you cherish almost each and every character. And, most importantly, each character has its own importance, and together all these characters help the story to move ahead.

The story is not fast-paced but you will love the steady pace of the plot. In fact, your reading will flow with such an ease that you won’t even realise it. Book covers of Higashino books always disappoint me and the same can be said for the cover of this book too. It could have been much better.

Higashino is a brilliant storyteller. He knows how to weave a complicated but brilliant mystery, and, most importantly, he always tries to do something different in each of his books. He does not believe in writing the murder mysteries in so-called traditional ways. He generates new methods to entertain his readers. The ways by which he writes his plots are not only innovative but also excellent. This is one of the reasons people love reading his books. And, this time too, the author does not disappoint you. This book is as good as his previous books read by me so far. While I won’t rate it as a ‘five-star’ book, this book definitely deserves the rest of the stars.

Note: I received this book from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley. The book is expected to release on 20th November 2018.

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