Title – Six Four
Author – Hideo Yokoyama
Publication Date – March 3rd 2016 by Quercus
ISBN – 9781848665255
My Rating – ★★★★/5
In January 1989 the parents of a seven-year-old schoolgirl listened to the demands of her kidnapper. They never learned his identity and despite following all his instructions, they never saw their daughter alive again.
In the fourteen years that followed, the Japanese public listened to the police apologise but they never forget the botched case known as “Six Four.”
During a bizarre week in 2002, a press officer who works at the department who failed to find the kidnapper, discovers a cover up in the case. He never could have imagined what would happen next.
I received a copy of Six Four to review from Hachette New Zealand. Six Four is Hideo Yokoyama’s sixth novel and the first to be translated into English.
This book is so big, over 600 pages, and I felt like a few things that happened wasn’t really necessary and just dragged out the story. I have said “a lot happened in this book” in a lot of my reviews but I am not kidding when I say that a lot happened in Six Four. The problem I have is that I can’t really talk about it here but it all has a way of connecting to the bigger story, the kidnapping in 1989.
I don’t read a lot of translated books but I have heard some bad things from people that have. I didn’t have a problem with the writing in Six Four at all. It all flowed really well and sometimes I forgot that it was originally written in Japanese. From what I remember, I’ve only read one other book that was translated into English.
The story really picked up for me a little past halfway, when there is another kidnapping. There was so much drama and stupidity inside this police department with the cover ups and scheming. Then there was the press with all their egos and demands. I felt like shaking the book at some points with my frustration. That makes it sound like I didn’t like Six Four but I really did. Or I wouldn’t have given it four stars.
The protagonist, Makami, is going through a tough time at home and some people in the department are using that to get what they want from him. I’m not really sure if I liked him or not. I think it might be a difference in culture though. The problems he was having with his daughter, and the way he handled it was horrible. I didn’t dislike him and he did grow on me throughout the book. What I did like about him was that he was determined to get to the bottom of what was happening at his work.
I liked Six Four, it did drag for me in places but I did enjoy it. The ending was especially good, I really enjoyed the twist with the kidnapping. I do wish that some things weren’t left up in the air though.
*Thank you Hachette New Zealand for sending me a copy to review*
Have you read Six Four? What did you think of it?