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  • Crooked House in the northernmost island of Japan
  • 13 people in the crooked house for Christmas Party.
  • 2 murders in locked rooms.

Nobody had a motive yet someone committed the perfect crime.

This is the first time I was reading a Japanese crime novel (of course, translated to English). It thrilled me when I got the book approved by NetGalley. The narrator starts with the description and comparison between western and Asian architecture. From there it introduces the people arriving at the Christmas party. The story revolves around two murders committed in the same house and in the same manner.

There are 8 guests who came to the island of Hokkaido to celebrate Christmas. The island is in the northernmost tip of Japan. The crooked house is a masterpiece of complex design. It has elements of both western and Asian cultures. Kazaburo Hamamoto the owner of Hama Diesel and the host of this party. He built the house similar to the Leaning Tower of Pisa

The setting didn’t change much throughout the story. Same house and same midis operandi. There’s a vivid description of each of the rooms including the placement of the furniture. But the reader might need an extra sense of imagination!

The author narrated the book in third person (not a resident), thus it gives more credibility while explaining the nitty- gritties of the house. The book develops the pace gingerly which paints a better picture of the backdrop. That helps the author build further suspense.

That brings me to the characters of the books, which I believe is a major drawback here. They have an identity but lack in depth in the sense of their personality development. There was a great deal of attention given to the environment, thus the characters look slight little bland.

Overall, it’s a wonderful book because the author could create a fantastic puzzle through the murder mystery. And as a reader one needs to pay attention to each of the descriptions provided for the rooms and the settings. If you miss the clue then you might miss an important clue. This brilliantly crafted thriller culminates in an unanticipated twist that is bound to leave the reader flabergasted.

I would like to thank NetGalley and Steerforth Press for giving me the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I will give it 3.5 stars.