Posted in What I Read

Girls In The Dark by Akiyoshi Rikako: The Truth or Lie?

What did she want to say …?

The girl is dead.

The President of the Literature Club, Shiraishi Itsumi, died.
A lily in her arms.

Murder? Suicide?
No one knows.
One of six girls, member of the Literature Club, is rumored to be the murderer of the beautiful, charismatic girl.

A week later, the club held a meeting. They want to remember Shiraishi with a short story. But apparently, the short story they make is their respective analysis of who the real killer is. The six girls took turns reading their analysis, but ….

Do you … ever thought wanting to kill someone?

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Incredible.

This word seems appropriate to describe this book. Akyoshi-sensei is known as a writer who likes to slip a plot-twist and surprises her readers. But that’s not what makes me call it incredible.

Before writing this review, I got the information from Haru’s social media (the publisher who translated the novel) that Akiyoshi-sensei was originally a humanities writer.  No wonder her writing style in this book is different than The Dead Returns and Scheduled Suicide Day. I read the translated version, but the translation feels more standard/formal than other Akiyoshi-sensei works. Probably it because the setting is a private religious school. But again that’s not what makes me call it incredible.

So what makes me call the word “Incredible”?

Her knowledge.

Akiyoshi-sensei seems to do some research first when writing. Just look when she describes a small village in Bulgaria, explaining the literature related to medicine and culinary, everything feels natural.

Akiyoshi-sensei is also able to divide the “voice” of her seven main characters. Making two different POV is already quite difficult for most writers, let alone seven. Akiyoshi-sensei is amazing.

The ending was unexpected. While reading, I had expected there would be a big secret after all the members had finished reading the manuscript. But I was wrong. There’s one more secret. The cover is so dramatic, just how Akiyoshi-sensei describe Hisumi’s beauty: Dramatic. Absolutely perfect cover.

Compared to the two books I’ve read before, Girls In The Dark is the best. This book presents a deeper tension than The Dead Returns and no childlike figures like Scheduled Suicide Day. Somehow, this book reminds me of college. One class is dominated by female, making the class like jungle. There’s no one you can really trust. That’s the most horrible part of this book. Hate, admiration and fear, is a typical class / school atmosphere that is dominated by a sensitive creature called a woman.

This book is perfect for fans of mystery stories. The plot, the portrayal of her character and the ending is remarkable.

Oh, and all the characters are in “gray zone”. So, don’t be confused to determine which protagonist and antagonist. Because in here, everyone is same.

 

For Indonesia version, click here

 

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Author:

Writer | Spaghetti and pizza lover | Specialist in Hidden Object, Puzzle, Adventure (HOPA) and Time Management Games

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