EVIL AND THE MASK by Fuminori Nakamura

EVIL AND THE MASK

KIRKUS REVIEW

A moneyed, aimless Japanese kid struggles against the curse his father has laid on him.

Like his own father before him, Shozo Kuki has great things in mind for his youngest son. Even before Fumihiro Kuki turns 12, his father tells him that he plans to make him “a cancer” whose life will be dedicated to making other lives miserable. As the months go by, Fumihiro’s father hints at the particulars of the plan, which reiterates a family pattern generations old. After introducing a girl named Kaori into his household as Fumihiro’s playmate, confidante and intimate, Kuki senior plans to have her gang-raped as his son looks on, destroying his belief in the goodness of humanity and his own power to battle its evil. The only way Fumihiro can rescue himself and Kaori, whom he has indeed fallen in love with, is to kill his father. Yet not even the perfect crime Fumihiro hatches and executes can save him from his father’s clutches, for committing a murder at such a tender age permanently warps his mind and estranges him from Kaori. And when he comes of age in the shadow of his father’s mysterious disappearance, Fumihiro’s attempts to find out more information about Kaori, now a hostess in a nightclub, and protect her from whoever else has taken a close interest in her welfare, only entangles him more deeply with the anti-government terrorist group JL and with his own deeply divided nature.

A spare, fast-moving parable whose lure, even more than that of The Thief (2012), is more philosophical and abstract than visceral.

Pub Date: June 11th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-61695-212-9
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Soho Crime
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2013




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