The Aosawa Murders

The Aosawa Murders

The Aosawa Murders

Not Just Books

Winner of the 59th Mystery Writers of Japan Award for Best Novel

On a stormy summer day in the 1970s the Aosawas, owners of a prominent local hospital, host a large birthday party in their villa on the Sea of Japan. The occasion turns into tragedy when 17 people die from cyanide in their drinks. The only surviving links to what might have happened are a cryptic verse that could be the killer's, and the physician's bewitching blind daughter, Hisako, the only family member spared death. The youth who emerges as the prime suspect commits suicide that October, effectively sealing his guilt while consigning his motives to mystery. Inspector Teru is convinced that Hisako had a role in the crime, as are many in the town, including the author of a bestselling book about the murders written a decade after the incident. The truth is revealed through a skilful juggling of testimony by different voices: family members, witnesses and neighbors, police investigators and of course the mesmerising Hisako herself.

'This spine-chilling masterpiece will make you aware of the dark places in your own heart.' — Hokkaido Shimbun

'A superb mystery in the true sense of the word.' — Asahi Shimbun

'Onda's unusual narrative technique, which presents differing perspectives by giving only the responses to the interviewer's questions, enhances the nesting-doll plot. American readers will appreciate why this puzzle mystery won the annual Mystery Writers of Japan Award for Fiction.' — Publishers Weekly

'The hot and humid atmosphere of the coastal town almost becomes a character in itself. The fascinating result is rich and strange, utterly absorbing. Onda makes you aware of "another, different world below the surface of this one.' — Times Magazine

'The domino effect of the murder on the community and the nation, as well as the swirl of uncertainty concerning the way its narratives are shaped, gives the book a striking resonance. This dark and dazzling novel defies easy categorization but consistently tantalizes and surprises.' — Kirkus starred review

'The minute I saw this ravishing book cover, I wanted a copy. And – oh happy day – it's turned out to be one of my most satisfying crime reads of the year.' — Mrs Peabody Investigates

'Intoxicating details and shiver-inducing propositions hold the full story at a careful distance; when the truth emerges, it's both partial and staggering. The Aosawa Murders is an intricate and devastating search for the facts behind a complicated crime.' — Foreword Reviews

'The genius of this novel is that it cultivates a nonstop air of menace. Practically every character comes off like a potential murderer.' — New York Journal of Books

The Aosawa Murders


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