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The Devil's Whisper Hardcover – 8 Aug 2007

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha Europe (8 Aug. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 4770030533
  • ISBN-13: 978-4770030535
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 2.3 x 15.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,339,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Whether it is the loneliness and bitterness of the real and online relationships of Shadow Family, the credit-card fraud and identity theft in All She Was Worth, or the crimes and characters of her extensive backlist, Miyabe's intricate plots are painted on the canvas of contemporary Japan and played out by the kind of people milling about on the streets below." --The Financial Times

About the Author

Miyuki Miyabe is a best-selling Japanese author and the recipient of numerous literary awards, including Japan's top award for popular literature, the Naoki Prize.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rowena Hoseason HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 10 Oct. 2014
Format: Hardcover
The blunt force trauma of the opening pages in this typically Japanese murder-mystery grabbed my attention and propelled me headlong into its narrative. In uncompromising terms we learn the details of a series of seemingly unconnected suicides, of young women who throw themselves to certain death rather than face whatever stalks them. The matter of fact tone of the writing makes this passage especially chilling, gripping and extremely effective.

The whole novel is rather less stylish however; probably just as well as it would be emotionally exhausting to endure that level of ramped-up angst for the whole book. The story rapidly develops to encompass an unlucky taxi driver who happened to be at the wheel when one of the women did for herself; his nephew – the son of a disgraced official now, orphaned bullied at school; two shadowy figures who attempt to influence the boy as he tries to untangle what’s happened, and the final potential victim, a frightened young woman who is both in hiding and concealing shabby secrets of her own.
The orphan takes on the role of investigator and gradually assembles the clues to understand why these women were targeted and who is responsible for their deaths. At the same time, he makes discoveries about his own past which change his perception of his parents, and lead him to make a life-and-death decision of his own.
Neatly translated into easy-flowing English, this is an entertaining who/howdunnit, laced with plenty of intriguing Japanese urban culture. It’s set in the late 1980s so pre-dates the Net, mobile phones and the like, but manages to incorporate some sinister technological developments in the sub-plots.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R. Ansell on 10 Feb. 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Miyabe is a truly stunning writer. This is one of her best books yet. The twists and turns and tension all come together to make a very good read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Part mystery, part SF, part social commentary 26 Oct. 2007
By C. E. Stevens - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The Devil's Whisper is one of the earliest published works of Miyabe's, and arguably her first popular hit in Japan. In many ways this is a fairly representative work of hers--it has the classic Miyabe formula of a scattered collection of mysterious clues faithfully collected, assembled, and slowly solved by the main character. Miyabe is skilled at creating full-fledged and interesting characters, and this novel's "boy sleuth" Mamoru is no exception. Indeed, Miyabe is often at her best with young but complex protagonists like Mamoru in this book.

Miyabe has a fascination with the paranormal, and this appears in many of her early works, including this one. For people expecting a genre-typical mystery or detective story in the vein of "All She Was Worth", this book might stretch the limits of the reader's ability to suspend belief just a little. In Japanese fiction all the way from the Tale of Genji to the works of Haruki Murakami, the line between the ordinary and the extraordinary tends to be blurred more than in Western works, so this is not necessarily a unique aspect from that perspective. Still, the reliance on the paranormal in this book may not appeal to all readers, so be warned that this is a slightly genre-bending work. As is often the case in Miyabe's works, the journey tends to be a little better than the destination, although this book's climax is a unique one that extends beyond the formal "solution" to the mystery. As is also common with Miyabe, this book delves a little into social commentary, as becomes apparent as the book's mysteries unravel. I will reveal no more so as to not give anything away!

Miyabe's works are always fun and engaging, and The Devil's Whisper is no exception. Not Miyabe's best, but still an entertaining read despite being a little rough around the edges. If you like Miyabe's other works, this book should not disappoint. If you are new to Miyabe, you might start with another book such as All She Was Worth which is arguably her best-known (and highest quality) work translated into English.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
An Emotionally Engaging Thriller 16 Mar. 2008
By Christopher L. Brunner - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've so far read all but one of Miyabe's books (the brave story), and have not been disappointed yet. Her first person narrative is almost as amazing as Natsuo Kirino (nobody's perfect), as you find yourself completely absorbed in the protagonists' struggle to find (or hide) the truth. There are no bad guys here; only people in pain, trying to find their way out. The killer gets alot of sympathy here, and the victims are not as innocent as the fictional newspapers have you believe (not a spoiler. It's explained early on). Every clue to the many mysteries undertaken in this book pulls you in, and you find yourself racing against time with the characters to solve the case before it's too late.

By the way, there are quite a few plot twists that lead to a breath-taking climax.

It's not just a story about a murder, but a web of intrigue surrounding a murder, a missing father, and the honor of a cab-driving family man.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
an engrossing, suspenseful mystery 24 Dec. 2009
By lazza - Published on
Format: Hardcover
"The Devil's Whisper" is my first foray into the world of Miyuki Miyabe, and it was a satisfying experience. The story is a bit complex, involving a 16 y.o. boy out to solve the murders of young women who have all appeared in a rather lurid magazine. The author does a great job with keeping the plot suspenseful, complete with twists and turns that are more plausible than ridiculous. Miyabe is clearly a competent mystery writer. The book is good, perhaps very good, but not quite a classic.

Bottom line: a fine read. Not quite the caliber of the works from Natsuo Kirino, but certainly Miyuki Miyabe is an author American readers should get to know.
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