Thursday, March 21, 2013

Devil of Nanking

This is yet another book that I saw in the bookstore a while ago, mentally put into my "maybe interesting" list, then ended picking up as a kindle special.

I knew that the story-line concerned the Rape of Nanking, but not so much more than that.  In the event, the Rape of Nanking is only one of two major strands of the plot; the other takes place in present-day Tokyo, and concerns an English woman come to Japan to research the Rape of Nanking, who gets caught up in events centering around a yakuza boss and his enigmatic Nurse.

Author Mo Hayder has created an interesting protagonist in "Grey," mentally disturbed and trying to pick up the pieces of her life.  And the Nanking parts were pretty good, although a little too focused on omens, which I thought was a bit out of character for the narrator.  But the main present-day storyline as a whole somehow didn't quite gel for me.  Partly, it's hard to believe in "Grey" as a successful hostess, given her mental issues.  Partly it's that the reveal is obvious pretty early on.  (really, both major reveals, come to think of it).

It was a decent book, and I'm not sorry I read it, but it's not really one I'd rave about either.

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