When a body wrapped in a blue plastic tarp and tied up with twine is discovered near the bushes near a quiet suburban Tokyo neighborhood, Lt. Reiko Himekawa and her squad take the case. The victim was slaughtered brutally—his wounds are bizarre, and no one can figure out the “what” or the “why” of this crime.
At age twenty-nine, Reiko Himekawa of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police’s Homicide Division is young to have been made lieutenant, particularly because she lacks any kind of political or family connections. Despite barriers created by age, gender, and lack of connections, she is mentally tough, oblivious to danger, and has an impressive ability to solve crimes.
Reiko makes a discovery that leads the police to uncover eleven other bodies, all wrapped in the same sort of plastic. Few of the bodies are identifiable, but the ones that are have no connection to each other. The only possible clue is a long shot lead to a website spoken only in whispers on the Internet, something on the dark web known as “Strawberry Night.”
But while she is hunting the killer, the killer is hunting her… and she may very well have been marked as the next victim.
Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I am a person who is always open and willing to try new things. I am always willing to read about different cultures and different surroundings. So when Titan Book offered Japanese thriller for reviewing, I said YES. Got very excited when I started reading and the excitement kept me to the very last page.
The main character here is Reiko, a young female detective in the Tokio Police Department, probably the youngest in her team. Many of the police officers, mostly men, have a problem when a woman is in charge and do not count to ten before they express their opinion. Reiko is not just an ordinary police officer, she graduated as the best in the class and she is really smart. But being a woman in Japanese culture is not an easy thing at all. She has to face her parents, especially her mother who does everything she can to find her a suitable husband and sees her as a failure in the marriage department. She has to face her past and try to forget an attack that no woman should face ever in her life. A rape is bad enough for the victim herself, no need for the judgment of the society that sees her as damaged.
When a body appears on the surface of the pond in the park, Reiko and her team are in charge. The body is wrapped so well, it seems that wasn’t meant to come out on the surface for a very long time. It seems like a murder one of a kind until Reiko remembers another case not so long time ago. A person dies near the pond of suffocation. Nothing connects the two cases, but Reiko’s instinct says that something fishy is going on here. Her investigation takes her on a journey that no one in her team would ever imagine in their wildest dreams. Japanese culture is one of a kind and their technology is far beyond the rest of the world. Their sense of fun is so unique, nothing can surprise me anymore. The investigation takes Reiko and her team deep into the world of computer technology, virtual lives and reality shows. All in the name of a modern term of having fun.
The Silent Dead is one very unique read. It is not just an ordinary thriller. It shows you the Japanese culture, the Japanese society with all good and bad sides. When you look from one side, it is so modern high-tech culture, but from the other side, the old beliefs are so common, like when a raped woman is a damaged robe and can not find a decent husband. Like it is her fault? The author connected the old and the new features of the society in a such a well-written story that kept me on the edge to the very last page. I have no good knowledge of the Japanese culture, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the book. And the murders, well, that part of the story is really one of a kind. But I’ll leave you to read that by yourself.