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Malice (Detective Kaga, #1)
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Novels > Malice: A Mystery

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message 1: by Selena (last edited Jan 12, 2015 07:05PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Selena (sailorstar165) | 1483 comments Mod
Acclaimed bestselling novelist Kunihiko Hidaka is found brutally murdered in his home on the night before he’s planning to leave Japan and relocate to Vancouver. His body is found in his office, a locked room, within his locked house, by his wife and his best friend, both of whom have rock solid alibis. Or so it seems.

At the crime scene, Police Detective Kyochiro Kaga recognizes Hidaka’s best friend, Osamu Nonoguchi. Years ago when they were both teachers, they were colleagues at the same public school. Kaga went on to join the police force while Nonoguchi eventually left to become a full-time writer, though with not nearly the success of his friend Hidaka.

As Kaga investigates, he eventually uncovers evidence that indicates that the two writers’ relationship was very different that they claimed, that they were anything but best friends. But the question before Kaga isn't necessarily who, or how, but why. In a brilliantly realized tale of cat and mouse, the detective and the killer battle over the truth of the past and how events that led to the murder really unfolded. And if Kaga isn't able to uncover and prove why the murder was committed, then the truth may never come out.

Malice is one of the bestselling—the most acclaimed—novel in Keigo Higashino’s series featuring police detective Kyochiro Kaga, one of the most popular creations of the bestselling novelist in Asia.

Discuss Malice: A Mystery here!

Reading Schedule
11/16-11/29 Chapter 1
11/30-12/6 Chapters 2 & 3
12/7-12/13 Chapter 4
12/14-12/20 Chapter 5 & 6
12/21-12/27 Chapter 7 & 8
12/28-1/3 Chapter 9


Selena (sailorstar165) | 1483 comments Mod
As you can see, some of these chapters are being read over two weeks rather than one. That is because I figure 30 pages a week is a good number (give or take 10 pages), and some of the chapters are 50-60-something pages long.

As I said in the Spice & Wolf thread, you don't have to follow the schedule, but this way everyone has a rough estimate where most of the group probably is.


Jean (otakumom) | 1 comments It's good to have some schedule to work off of. Thanks for coming up with it.


Selena (sailorstar165) | 1483 comments Mod
Just a reminder to those planning to join in that we begin reading next week.

Can't wait to read this with everyone!


Adar Bokobza (adarbo) | 19 comments So, just going to say that I started reading and I'm on 8%, How does this joint reading work? can we speak about the first chapter only on 29/11?


Selena (sailorstar165) | 1483 comments Mod
You can talk about whatever chapters whenever you want, really. So you can talk about chapter 1 two weeks from now or two months from now.

The schedule is more of a guideline for spoilers. There are those who may read this in a week, and so they have a better idea where the group as a whole may be and (hopefully) won't let slip major plot points from later in the book.

Also helps people like me not read it all at once if it's good or avoid reading it if it's bad. XD If I have a schedule to follow, I follow it.


Selena (sailorstar165) | 1483 comments Mod
I've gotten a few pages in and I can already say that I don't like Hidaka. I'm betting that he's the murder victim. This is a murder mystery, right? *double checks the summary* Yup.


Heather (crazednano) | 34 comments Selena wrote: "I've gotten a few pages in and I can already say that I don't like Hidaka. I'm betting that he's the murder victim. This is a murder mystery, right? *double checks the summary* Yup."

XD haha

was the part where (view spoiler) make ya not like him or just in general?


Selena (sailorstar165) | 1483 comments Mod
That was exactly it, Heather. lol


Heather (crazednano) | 34 comments XD haha, though I don't necessarily agree with what he did...I think it's also on the owner to be aware of the situation that caused the end result.
But I did think was amusing that Hidaka wrote an article about it.


Selena (sailorstar165) | 1483 comments Mod
Part of me wonders if Hidaka ever really asked the owner to take care of her darn cat.

One thing I will say is that I find the 90s tech rather amusing. I didn't know they made computers that were just word processors.

So I've got to ask: who here wants to try and solve the mystery together?


message 12: by Jean (last edited Nov 21, 2014 05:10AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jean (otakumom) | 1 comments Go for it Selena! Can't join in, already read the whole book :( but you'll have fun.

Reading about old tech is funny. I remember those word processors! They were clunky and big. It was an oversized heavy typewriter except it had a terrible screen built in and instead of keys being struck onto the paper, it was like a little printer. A dot matrix printer. Those were the days....lol


Heather (crazednano) | 34 comments I could kind of seeing him asking her to, based on the bit of what we've seen of his personality; if not him then his wife maybe.

XD haha, I think back then there was more just one function devices instead of our ultra multi-function devices we have now. I almost wish we could go back to just one function devices. I'd think people would be able to get a lot more done and less distracted that way o.o

:3 I would like to try to solve it with everyone once there are more witnesses introduced.


message 14: by Adar (new) - rated it 5 stars

Adar Bokobza (adarbo) | 19 comments How far along the book are you guys?
Let's try to solve it once everyone read the first chapter, at least..?


Selena (sailorstar165) | 1483 comments Mod
I'm done with the first chapter. :)

I think we can rule out the first chapter's speaker (his name is escaping me at the moment...). Unless, of course, he's an unreliable narrator and is lying through his teeth?

Suspect-wise, we have Cat-Lady, his wife Rie, and.. what's her name, Fujio-san? I'm really bad with the names. If this book follows the "commandments" of mystery, we can safely guess that the murderer has to be one of the people who appear in this first chapter.

For those who don't know the 10 Commandments, here's a link: http://www.writingclasses.com/Informa...


Heather (crazednano) | 34 comments I finished the first Chapter as well. If we are assuming the commandments are being followed, I'd have to say that Cat-Lady Niimi would be at the top of my suspect list.

I think how (view spoiler)

o.o Should I continue to put the 'spoiler' links for describing certain events? Or should they be put only when it's a bigger turning point? ^^;; I wouldn't want to give any information away in case some one hasn't read a certain part yet.


Selena (sailorstar165) | 1483 comments Mod
Ha ha, I think the only thing that needs to be in spoiler tags are main events that you don't think you'd want to be told ahead of time (like who did it! Or who is revealed to can't do it).

The cat lady standing in the garden doesn't have to be spoiler tagged, I don't think. ;) I don't think you need to hide the motive, either, since that's revealed so early on.


Heather (crazednano) | 34 comments Selena wrote: "Ha ha, I think the only thing that needs to be in spoiler tags are main events that you don't think you'd want to be told ahead of time (like who did it! Or who is revealed to can't do it).

The ca..."


^^ Thank you for the clarification!


Selena (sailorstar165) | 1483 comments Mod
I'm surprised Detective Kaga didn't count Rie among the suspects. Also surprised they didn't count cat lady.

Chapter 2 spoilers, since I read it so early in the week. Normally wouldn't put these in spoilers except I read it so quickly (short chapter this time. Very short).
(view spoiler)


message 20: by Adar (new) - rated it 5 stars

Adar Bokobza (adarbo) | 19 comments I think Kaga is too obsessed with Nonoguchi to look for other suspects, its like he "knows" that he did it, and is unwilling to consider other people..I still believe everything Nonoguchi narrated is the truth, maybe I'm wrong, maybe not, time will tell


Selena (sailorstar165) | 1483 comments Mod
That is a possibility. He doesn't seem to have a motive, after all. Don't they say that you need motive and means to commit murder? Nonoguchi seems to have had the means, from what Kaga was saying, but he doesn't seem to have a motive.


message 22: by Adar (new) - rated it 5 stars

Adar Bokobza (adarbo) | 19 comments Selena..I take back everything I said.
And I'll elaborate no further.


message 23: by Selena (last edited Nov 30, 2014 10:57AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Selena (sailorstar165) | 1483 comments Mod
Adar wrote: "Selena..I take back everything I said.
And I'll elaborate no further."


Read ahead, did you? lol


Heather (crazednano) | 34 comments ^^; I was also curious as to why Nonoguchi was becoming the prime suspect so I ended up reading on ahead too. I'm around Chapter four or five now.

I am wondering if the rest of the book is (view spoiler)


Selena (sailorstar165) | 1483 comments Mod
Thinking I may have to read ahead once I'm caught up on my book for another group. ;)


message 26: by Jean (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jean (otakumom) | 1 comments Heather wrote:
I am wondering if the rest of the book is ..."


(view spoiler)


Heather (crazednano) | 34 comments Jean wrote: "Heather wrote:
I am wondering if the rest of the book is ..."

[spoilers removed]"



(view spoiler)


Selena (sailorstar165) | 1483 comments Mod
I get the feeling a lot of us are reading ahead, lol.

Do we want to adjust the reading schedule a bit so we read more each week? When I made the schedule, I thought the writing would be a little more dense and take longer to read.


Heather (crazednano) | 34 comments ^^ I think an adjust would be good, personally. The chapters appear to be very short, at least they are so far.


Selena (sailorstar165) | 1483 comments Mod
Heather wrote: "^^ I think an adjust would be good, personally. The chapters appear to be very short, at least they are so far."

The first one was almost 60 pages, lol. But yeah, it's a pretty quick read.

I'll let everyone weigh in and make adjustments tomorrow, if I make any. I'm going to guess that, since those who have been posting are reading ahead, that it's probably safe to halve the schedule (combine two 1 week chapters into one week, make 2 week ones 1 week, that kind of thing)


Heather (crazednano) | 34 comments O.O oh goosh, ^^;; I need to pay more attention to page numbers haha.

^^ That makes sense~ Then there's getting to the next group read quicker too, if it works out that way :3


Allison | 125 comments I got this book a bit late, so I just read the first two weeks worth of it while I was drinking tea. For what it's worth, I buzzed through them in one sitting. Regardless of length, this is really involving and fast paced, so speeding things up doesn't seem bad.

In the first couple of chapters, I was really impressed by how well the author contrasts his two narrators- Nonoguchi and Kaga both have really distinct voices, from their skill level at writing prose to the ways in which they read other characters, and often, multiple narrators in one novel aren't so successfully distinct from each other. Plus, I love the impact the two of them had on one another, with Nonoguchi recalling Kaga's ineptitude and Kaga having such a clear memory of Nonoguchi's cynicism.


It's hard to say who did it right now, but if Nonoguchi is an author, it's possible he could be using the same methods Selena mentioned to draw attention to the cat owner. I'm god-awful-horrible at predicting the endings of murder mysteries, though, so I don't know. ^^;


Selena (sailorstar165) | 1483 comments Mod
Allison wrote: "It's hard to say who did it right now"

Yeah, that lasts all of one chapter.

A friend of mine finished this in two days and said it's not so much a "whodunnit" as much as a "whydunnit."


Allison | 125 comments Selena wrote: Yeah, that lasts all of one chapter.

A friend of mine finished this in two days and said it's not so much a "whodunnit" as much as a "whydun..."


Aww, really? That's kind of a shame, since the dueling perspectives thing works really well, but I guess I can see where it could get old after 288 pages, too. Having this trick applied to something like Crime and Punishment, or even Death Note, would have been cool. I hope it holds up once the primary function of the gimmick passes, or that it's re-purposed well.


message 35: by Jean (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jean (otakumom) | 1 comments The journey is still really intriguing.

It's why I fell in love with his other book Salvation of a Saint which was published after Malice but translated before Malice. Weird, huh.


Selena (sailorstar165) | 1483 comments Mod
So I shorted up the schedule, so we'll be done closer to the start of January.


Allison | 125 comments Ah, I just read the extra chapter for this week! I can't wait to read the next one on Sunday. The style works so well for the story- the plot is the complete opposite of the ultra-violent, fast-paced 1950s and 60s Western crime novels I usually read, but the combination of unreliable narrators and first person egoism really isn't that far off. It's an interesting combination, and even if this unfolds slowly, it does so really well.


Selena (sailorstar165) | 1483 comments Mod
I love the fact that Nonoguchi an unreliable narrator. It makes for an interesting read, especially after so many YA novels where the MC magically knows everything that's going on, even if he/she wasn't present for it. Lying's on the opposite end of that scale and I love it. <3


Mayumi (Hibari) | 16 comments I ended up picking up the book yesterday. This book was really good, I couldn't put it down... I really like the fact that there were two narrators and one was untrustworthy. The murder suspect was easy to figure out. But the motive is definitely something that is not easy to figure out. I like how Kaga is able to piece together little things (view spoiler) that seemed insignificant but was important enough that lets him see the bigger picture.


Allison | 125 comments I just finished the fourth chapter, and am really distressed at the fact that I have finals this week and next. I thought I'd be disappointed by such a long stretch of Kaga's narration, but it ended up being so good that, if I had nothing else to do, I'd buzz through this in a flash!


message 41: by Adar (new) - rated it 5 stars

Adar Bokobza (adarbo) | 19 comments Finals?Exams??that's what you are worried about?
I have to go to the army every day, driving 3 hours daily and work 10 hours a day, who has time to read?..Still gonna finish this book like a king :P


Allison | 125 comments Jeez, I'm still going to finish it, just not today. Different stuff is stressful for different people... :S


message 43: by Adar (new) - rated it 5 stars

Adar Bokobza (adarbo) | 19 comments I was just venting, don't worry I know how stressful finals can be...good luck! :] I know it's kinda off-topic but what's your major?


Allison | 125 comments Adar wrote: "I was just venting, don't worry I know how stressful finals can be...good luck! :] I know it's kinda off-topic but what's your major?"

No, it's okay! I'm in panic mode lately, so I let something small set me off. I'm a grad student in history, with 3 15 page papers due next week, hence the earlier panic-whining. I have a campus job, too, but that's not stressful at all- I'm lucky.

Anyway, I was thinking about this in regards to the book, but did anyone else think that Kaga's narrative in chapter 4 was more engaging than his in chapter 2? I tried to look at the style markers, and I don't think they changed, so I'm wondering if, in chapter 5, Nonoguchi will seem any less interesting. I think this is probably a sympathetic sort of reaction, learning what we have by this point, but it's still interesting to consider.


Selena (sailorstar165) | 1483 comments Mod
I think the difference between chapter 2 and chapter 4 was that 2 was written more like a police report where as 4 is a bit more of a narrative, which can make all the difference. :)


message 46: by Adar (new) - rated it 5 stars

Adar Bokobza (adarbo) | 19 comments When I started reading chapter 4 I was bummed out that it was a Kaga chapter and a long one at that, especially because of how chapter 2 was written, but it was really interesting and I found that I really liked chapter 4 at the end.
I'm reading 5 as we speak, I'll try not to spoil stuff :P

Good luck with those paper Allison :]


Selena (sailorstar165) | 1483 comments Mod
I'm about halfway through chapter four.

I think I know what the motive for the murder was. If the motive is what I think it is, then I can't really blame Nonoguchi.

(view spoiler)


Selena (sailorstar165) | 1483 comments Mod
Wow. Lots of red herrings on the motives, it seems.


message 49: by Allison (last edited Dec 15, 2014 07:56PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Allison | 125 comments I have two things to say about this chapter that, hopefully, are pretty spoiler free, but if it is bad, please feel free to block some of it!

1. Why would Kaga let him write his own confession? This has not been a tactic that worked out well for the police in the past.

2. All I could think of with that scene in the garden, about halfway through the chapter, was the poisoned meatball for the cat at the start of the book. It was a good parallel.


Selena (sailorstar165) | 1483 comments Mod
I did like the parallel from the poisoned meatball. Quite possible that was made up based on that experience.


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