[Book] MALICE by Keigo Higashino

Book 1 of Police Detective Kaga series

“Malice” is a captivating Japanese mystery novel that delves into the twisted motives behind a carefully orchestrated murder. Renowned novelist Kunihiko Hidaka is found dead in his locked house on the eve of his move to Canada. The prime suspects are his wife and his best friend, Osamu Nonoguchi, a less successful writer—both with seemingly solid alibis.

Detective Kyochiro Kaga, a former colleague of Nonoguchi, begins unraveling the case. Kaga discovers that the friendship between Hidaka and Nonoguchi was far from idyllic, riddled with hidden envy and resentment. As he digs deeper, Kaga finds himself in a psychological battle with the killer, who has meticulously manipulated the narrative of events.

Main Ideas

  • Deceitful Appearances: The novel explores how people carefully construct facades to hide their true intentions. The killer goes to great lengths to establish a false motive and mislead the investigation.
  • Envy and Resentment: Jealousy plays a key role in the novel. It highlights how envy can corrode relationships and ultimately lead to destructive actions.
  • The Power of Perception: The story emphasizes how easily perspectives can be manipulated. The killer masterfully crafts a version of events to ensure suspicion falls elsewhere.
  • Unreliable Narrators: The novel is told from multiple viewpoints, some with vested interests in shaping the outcome. This challenges the reader to discern the truth amidst conflicting accounts.
Back to Top