Title: The Village of Eight Graves
Author: Seishi Yokomizo
Translated from the Japanese by Bryan Karetnyk
Publisher: Pushkin Vertigo
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Source: Personal Copy
I was so looking forward to reading a good mystery and was disappointed to some extent by this read. The pacing clearly was one of the major reasons for this. It went on to become too long after a certain point, and I wish it had ended earlier.
Tatsuya Terada has been invited to become the heir of a wealthy Tajimi family in a remote mountain village. The village gets its name from a bloody legend of eight samurais who were murdered by the inhabitants in the 16th century, letting loose a curse. Recently someone from the Tajimi family has murdered thirty-two villagers.
Tatsuya goes to the village only to become the prime suspect. Enter, Kosuke Kindaichi – a very hapless detective trying to solve the murders.
The writing is interesting in the first half and then it loses steam in the second half. I found myself getting bored and I wish there was more to the unfolding of the story. The characters are well-rounded and yet the plot doesn’t take it any far. The translation by Bryan Karetnyk manages to give the reader the much-needed imagination when it comes to a mystery and maintain the hold on conversation as well.
The Village of Eight Graves could’ve been so much more and isn’t. It would for sure make for a great binge-worthy Netflix series, but as a book it disappointed me for sure.