Tuesday, January 08, 2013

The Best of 2012: True Crime

One of the many items [old and new] enjoyed by Burbank Public Library staff during 2012, recommended for your consideration:

Turns out that the last book that I read in 2012 was one of the best books that I read in 2012.  Every now and then, I take a walk [well actually a read] down the dark side of life and read a "true crime" book. People Who Eat Darkness : The true story of a young woman who vanished from the streets of Tokyo and the evil that swallowed her up , by Richard Lloyd Parry, caught my eye when I read a review way back in March, and I mentally filed it away for future reading. When I spotted the book in December, I still needed to read it.

What really sets this sad and tragic story apart in my mind are the exotic Japan setting and the revelation of aspects of Japanese culture and life that are fascinatingly different from similar stories set in the United States. Joji Obara is as bad and evil a man as you'll ever encounter. The glimpses behind the Japanese curtain into nightclub "hostess" jobs, as well as the Japanese Police and legal systems that are so different from our experience, make the story that much more intriguing. Parry also does a superb job with his portraits of the Blackman family and the way in which the disappearance and death of their daughter Lucie causes long-lasting fractures in family relationships as each copes differently with the tragedy.

Exotic locations and culture, a chilling crime, and a sad, heartbreaking tale well told await anyone who reads People Who Eat Darkness.

David P., Technical Services supervisor

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