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Five Grisly Ways to go in a Japanese Crime Novel

Ever wanted to be immortalised in a novel? Well if there’s one genre you really want to stay out of it’s the Japanese crime novel!

Japanese writers are the best at coming up with inventive, stomach churning methods of dispatching victims, clever and chilling, it doesn’t do to dwell too long on the origins of your sushi lunch after dipping into these crime books!


With new book Parade by Shuichi Yoshida out this week we thought we’d take a look at five of the most inventive ways to make a final exit in a Japanese crime novel:



1. Keigo Higashino – Salvation of a Saint

Higashino’s fourth book in the Detective Galileo series, features a case that revolves around the murder of a man poisoned by arsenic-laced coffee, it’ll make you think twice about your first coffee of the morning, will it be your last?

2. Ryu Murakami – Audition

Whether reading the book or watching the film about Aoyama who discovers a horrifying truth about his new girlfriend, the unflinching use of piano wire to kill in Audition will make your skin crawl.

3. Natsuo Kirino – Out

Not letting a victim go to waste, Natsuo Kirino’s violent female characters decide that his victims are better murdered and eaten raw in sushi.

4. Koji Suzuki –Ring

In this novel that inspired the Hollywood and Japanese film series, all who watch a chilling videotape with supernatural powers meet deadly ends. Being frightened to death by the horrifying image of the spirit of a young Japanese girl means this has to make the list.

5. Koushun Takami – Battle Royale

In the near future, when the society of Japan is crumbling, 42 students find that their field trip is actually a military-sponsored game known as Battle Royale. Set on an isolated island, they have three days to kill each other until only one remains. If it isn’t enough to be despatched by your best friend, the violence starts from the beginning as each student is fitted with an electric collar which will detonate should they wander in to the wrong area of the island, a world away from The Hunger Games.


Set in Tokyo, Parade tells the stories of four 20-somethings who share a small, crowded two-bedroom apartment. Each tell their hopes, their fears, their loves and secrets. There’s violence in the air and something very disturbing is happening in the flat next door but when a mysterious stranger takes up residence on the sofa, they find themselves doing things they wouldn’t normally do until one of them does something so terrible it cannot be reversed.


Do you love Japanese crime? Let us know your favourite books in the comments below!

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