Firstly, huge thanks to Pushkin Press and Edelweiss+ for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I have heard a lot about Japanese detective fiction but I have never read one for myself so when I saw The Inugami Curse available to review I jumped to the chance! I’m now very excited to read more of it in the future too! Before we jump into the review, being a detective fiction novel there is a focus on murder so CW: graphic depictions of death.
The Inugami Curse is actually the sixth instalment in the Detective Kosuke Kindaichi series, where Kindaichi receives a letter where he is asked to go to the small town of Nasu as someone thinks something big is about to happen. The event in question is the reading of the wealthy head of the Inugami family’s will.
Even though this novel is the sixth one in a series, that didn’t really matter as you can easily get a grasp on the character of Kindaichi. I really liked the fact that he had a sense of humour and I also liked his interactions with the Chief of police. I also thought the dynamic between family members was really interesting, they definitely weren’t what you consider the stereotypical family and they seemed to become even more fractured as the novel continues. As interested as I was in finding out who was behind the murders, I was also just as interested finding out the many secrets that this family appeared to keep. Yokomizo does a brilliant job of crafting these characters that I could have easily read an entire novel on just the history of the family.
I really liked the way that the novel unfolded and how the narrative progressed. At times it was difficult for me to follow how much time had passed or what events happened at what time, however, Kindaichi does create his own timeline of events and explains things very well so it was easy to get caught up. I thought that there were a lot of really brilliant red herrings; however, I also found that I preferred the explanations of some of the red herrings to the actual reveal. Then again, the final reveal was also quite satisfying even if it didn’t leave me shouting in disbelief at the book.
I did really enjoy this novel and I will definitely be checking out more of the Kindaichi series in the future, as well as other Japanese mystery novels!