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Six Four

(Prefecture D #4)

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  7,196 ratings  ·  1,196 reviews


For five days, the parents of a seven-year-old Japanese schoolgirl sat and listened to the demands of their daughter’s kidnapper. They would never learn his identity. And they would never see their daughter alive again.

Fourteen years later, the mystery remains uns

Kindle Edition, 576 pages
Published February 7th 2017 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published October 2012)
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Josh According to wikipedia (横山秀夫) the book is the latest of a four part series called the 'D Prefectural Police Series.'

According to wikipedia (横山秀夫) the book is the latest of a four part series called the 'D Prefectural Police Series.'

It's the only one published in English though.(less)
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Average rating 3.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,196 ratings  ·  1,196 reviews

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Dec 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a long and unusually demanding read, set in Japan, requiring attention to detail from the reader. It does not adhere to many of the common expectations of crime fiction. Six Four is the code name for a fourteen year cold case in which a seven year old girl, Shoko, was kidnapped and never returned despite the ransom being paid. The case still remains open. The Press and Media Relations Director, Yoshinobu Mikami, is a cop and visits the girl's father to pay his respects. His own daughter, ...more
Jeffrey Keeten
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Turning, he saw the young girl, still half-concealed and watching him out of one eye. She had one hand over her mouth, trying to hold back laughter. An unspeakable emotion washed over him. He felt himself shiver. It was as though he’d caught a glimpse of himself through the girl’s eyes. The way he looked to other people, not the way he looked to himself in the mirror or in a photograph."

 photo SixFour_zpsngb87v9k.jpg

The way people see us is always different than how we see ourselves. No one has more information about us
Mar 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How do the police operate in Japan? This police procedural from author Hideo Yokoyama reads much differently than one would written by, say, Richard Price or Elmore Leonard. The usual human failings are on full display—incompetence, careerism, ambition, revenge, etc—but they are played out in a setting alien to the Western reader. That's what made this novel so very interesting to me. For we do not know how the specific cultural idiosyncrasies of Japan will impinge upon the story's development. ...more
Jan 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Superintendent Mikami, a twenty year police detective, has been transferred to Prefecture D in the role of new Press Director for Media Relations. Undesirable as this new position is to Mikami, he must learn to walk a fine line between the press, hungry for information, and the police desiring good publicity since undermining police tactics in the court of public opinion acts as a deterrent to criminal investigations. Suwa, as Section Chief of Mikami's small department , is a spin doctor who att ...more
Adam Dalva
May 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unusual, long, methodical novel that is less thriller and more workplace drama, but is oddly gripping all the same. Yokoyama creates a whole ecosystem of police department intersections here, with Mikami, a likable hard-boiled protagonist, constantly moving between his job with the press, his former colleagues in criminal investigating, and the Tokyo bureaucracy, not trusted anywhere as he slowly unravels a departmental conspiracy and struggles to accept that his run-away daughter might not come ...more
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Translated mystery fans
Recommended to Thomas by: Nancy Oakes
Shelves: east-asian-crime
A GoodReads friend sent me this book 1 and 1/2 years ago and I put off reading it because it is 635 pages long(643 if you count the author interview). It is more focused on Japanese society than the mystery. The first 500 pages are about infighting/power struggles within the Japanese police and their difficult relationship with the press. The unsolved kidnapping/murder of a seven year old girl is always hovering in the background, and does not come into focus until near the end for a stunning, u ...more
Nov 08, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Jesus, this is long book! Anyone who promotes it as a thriller needs to avoid taking up knitting as that would blow their mind. I am sure that there must be more to this, some subtle something that I am missing, but as far as I could tell this was 81 chapters of inter departmental bickering and power play amongst the Japanese police force. if you want to know the ins and outs of ridiculously melodramatic arguments about the power of the media then this is for you. if you fancy an actual crime no ...more
Leo Robertson
Apr 18, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent instruction manual for Japanese policemen.
Jan 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-reads
Six Four is a somewhat strange, slowly paced and bloated but nevertheless intriguing police procedural novel, following Press Director Mikami as he grapples with office politics, intersquad squabbling, hidden agendas and directives from Tokyo, and all against a backdrop of his own missing daughter and two cases, twenty years apart, linked by kidnapping for ransom. This is certainly a strange read, and it is dense and for my liking could have been more tightly edited and pacing hastened, and I do ...more
Liz Barnsley
Six Four is really the most amazing read BUT you have to have patience. It is unexpected. I will be absolutely honest and say that at about 50 pages in (and this is a long one!) I almost gave up. If you get to that point kick yourself into continuing – it will reward you in many ways. From a little after that point I devoured it. It kicked in big time.

To clarify – the problem for me came with a bit of a culture clash – the names are all very similar and I was muddling up the characters and had t
Nancy Oakes
Let's just get this out of the way -- Six Four is not an average thriller, nor is it an average police procedural; there are no kick-ass heroines or scenes of over-the-top violence to be found anywhere in this book. I finished it in one go in a major overnight, insomnia-fueled reading session and my reaction was this: hooray (!) for something new, something delightfully different, and above all, for an intelligent mystery novel that goes well beyond the standard crime fiction fare -- in short, t ...more
Jan 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I first discovered Hideo Yokoyama’s crime novel „Six Four“ there were two things that immediately made me want to read it: The first thing was that it came with the praise of being „the Japanese crime sensation that sold over a million copies“ which even for a nation with a population of 128 million people is still quite impressive and I really don’t get to read of lot of crime novels or thrillers that are set in Asia. But what made me even more excited about the book was the fact that it w ...more
Jun 03, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. this is a truly bad book. I was intrigued by the literary phenomenon status it has garnered in Japan. I can only assume that Japanese readers adore exposition about police hierarchies and internal organisation.

For the first half of the book the narrative tension hinges on whether or not the press corps will make a complaint about the police or not. It's never made clear why we should care, so we don't. Then we discover, shock horror, that Tokyo may replace one police officer with another.
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! Just... wow!! What a book!!

This was an incredible, engrossing read. A book of crime fiction ostensibly centering on a missing person/kidnap victim, but really a biography of a police department in crisis. Japan, the Japanese police system, and the main character of Mikami are clearly and sensitively portrayed in this volume of Japanese literature.

A 500+ page book it read faster than most shorter books. Intrigue, conspiracy, police procedure, as well as showing the pains that the people inv
One of my goals this year is to read more fiction translated from Asian languages. So when I saw this at Dymocks - AND it had hot pink pages - I was instantly sold.

This...........took me forever and ever to read. Like, a solid week of reading. And partly it's because it's nearly 700 pages long, and partly because it's a slow, dense story.

Technically, this is a crime novel. But it's a crime novel in the same way that Broadchurch is a crime show where the crime is there but the show is also abou
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in Japanese culture
It all seemed so simple. Yoshinobu Mikami, newly appointed superintendent of Media Relations for the Prefecture Headquarters, has been ordered to prepare for the visit of the Commissioner General of the National Police Agency based in Tokyo. Mikami's assignment unravels in so many ways that it's difficult to boil down.

Mikami had hoped for a promotion within the Criminal Investigations Dept. Instead he is under the jurisdiction of Administrative Affairs. The two branches are wary of each other. H
Going into this book thinking it's purely a thriller is not the best way to enjoy or get the most out of it. In that mindset, I can see how it's easy to find it bloated and way too long, like many readers have.

What Six Four actually is, is a 600+ paged, slow-burning and intricately plotted police procedural with a lot of characters to keep track of and a few mysterious sub-plots folded in throughout. The writing is outstanding, and I especially found that so in the characters. With so many chara
Jim Coughenour
Yoshinobu Mikami must be the world's most ineffectual detective. He meanders and broods, there are hundreds of pages dedicated to his labored reconstruction of what other people are thinking, feeling, conniving – yet he solves absolutely nothing. Hundreds of pages dedicated to the minutiae of police politics and media relations.
"Wait!" Mikami shouted. "I guarantee that you'll get proper announcements from this point forward. We will give you everything we know. It's what you want."

"Aren't we pas
Aug 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although his police career has been mainly as a detective, middle-aged Yoshinobu Mikami has been transferred sideways to become Media Relations officer of the police department in City D. Slowly, as he battles with the journalists on the one hand and his irrationally secretive bosses in the PD on the other, with everyone preparing for the arrival of a visiting police bigwig from Tokyo, it emerges that much of the oddness of the way his superiors are behaving can be traced to a notorious fourteen ...more
In the last days of the Showa period a little girl is abducted and killed even after her parents pay the ransom. The case has been open for 14 years, but they have no new leads. Six four was the code name for the case, as it took place in the 64th year of the Showa period (the period of Japanese history corresponding to the reign of the Shōwa Emperor, Hirohito, from December 25, 1926, through January 7, 1989),

Mikami, Press and Media Relations Director for the Police Prefecture, takes an interest
Mar 24, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
646 pages. Six four whichever way you look at it! A torturous book with about 400 pages of tedious boring detail of inter department squabbling in the Japanese police force. Given the amount of excellent reviews of this book I feel I have missed some subtle underlying theme in the story? It could have been a good thriller and parts do move along but overall the emphasis on department politics was just too much. Furthermore there are quiet a number of issues left unresolved. The author should see ...more
Six Four is two stories - a teenage girl who has run away and a young girl abducted, held for ransom and brutally murdered. Both sets of parents looking for answers.

To start with it was a little confusing and not the most exciting – it felt like the author was setting the scene quite considerably but as I got immersed myself into the story, I realised how much it actually needed.

The story was quite an eye opener to cultural differences between the UK and Japan. The way the Japanese police for
Redfield Reads

So at just under the halfway point this book has beaten me. It just dosent seem to be going anywhere and we are just going round in circles. We are no closer to finding out who commited the crime or where the detectives daughter is. This book does start extremely weak and did take 100 pages before any kind of momentum picks up and its slow at that.

As a Thriller I need it to keep me engaged with the characters and really keep me on the edge of the seat to find out what happens next. The probl
aPriL does feral sometimes
‘Six Four’ is a challenging book.

First, it is a literary read which has been translated into English from Japanese.

Second, written by a Japanese author and set in 2002 Japan, the novel is, apparently, extremely Japanese - heirarchical culture, buried volcanic emotions of shame, male character dominance expectations and relationships. The Japanese cultural world of executive or enterprise-level management struggles is closer to what the story is actually about, only it focuses on characters who
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating slow burning crime drama that really ticks along at an intriguing pace.
It wasn’t what I was expecting, which made me enjoy it even more!

I’ve had this on my shelf for quite awhile, as I’ve set the task of reading a book from each of the 32 countries represented at this summers FIFA World Cup, this was an obvious choice for Japan.
I want to experience all different cultures through June and July and this book certainly achieved that.

The plot focuses on a cold case in the Japanese pol
I must confess my surprise that I got through this novel. At 635 pages it’s far longer than I’m used to.

Interestingly though I was ultimately quite intrigued and read it in just a couple of sittings.

And yet… I cannot really say I enjoyed it.

Superintendent Yoshinobu Mikami has recently taken on the role of Press Director…. a position – it seems – in Japanese policing requires the appointment of a police officer, rather than a civilian. It is – however – part of the Administrative Affairs Depart
190817: this was an unexpected pleasure. i read this in two sittings. this is sort of the opposite from crime pulps i have most enjoyed: this is about three or four times longer, focuses on the politics, the history, of crime and police, set in a different culture, intriguing but not the crime so much as the fallout, and though everyone here also has a role we are never in a more privileged knowledge position than the somewhat disrespected media liaison narrator...

there are also no moments of th
Gumble's Yard (aka Golden Reviewer)
A lengthy police procedural thriller – translated from Japanese.

The key character is Mikami – a detective now transferred to press relations. His daughter has recently disappeared with no trace other than some silent calls (albeit he is disquieted that many of his colleagues also say that they have had anonymous calls) – but he is also drawn back into an unsolved kidnapping and murder from 14 years ago which his wife also served in (a case known as six four due to its occurrence in the 64th and
Jo Ellen Davis
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished
This was very long and very detailed. The author did manage to hold my attention, although I was not often enthralled. The last section really picked up in terms of excitement. The list of characters is daunting. The writer was amazing in terms of the tough subject matter which is largely the culture of Japan as it reflects on the police establishment. Most likely it also reflects the overwhelming pressure to succeed and move ahead in professional career status in Japan. I would recommend this t ...more
This book took a lot of focus, but it was interesting to learn about bureaucracy and the police force in Japan. I wasn’t very satisfied with the ending, so 3.5 stars.
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TwitBookClub: July 2016 - 'Six Four' by Hideo Yokoyama 1 30 Jun 18, 2016 10:51AM  

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Hideo Yokoyama (横山 秀夫) worked as an investigative reporter with a regional newspaper north of Tokyo for 12 years before striking out on his own as a fiction writer. He made his literary debut in 1998 when his collection of police stories Kage no kisetsu (Season of Shadows) won the Matsumoto Seicho Prize; the volume was also short-listed for the Naoki Prize. In 2000 his story Doki (Motive) was awar ...more

Other books in the series

Prefecture D (4 books)
  • Prefecture D
  • 動機 [Dōki]
  • 顔 FACE [Kao]

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