A murder mystery set in 1985 Japan.
WHAT’S THE BOOK ABOUT
Japan 1985 – a young English woman battles her conscience.
A page-turning suspense novel…
Money blows across a field, the notes slapping against the stubble of dry rice stalks. Mr Ito walks towards the irrigation ditch at the end of his field, his rubber boots kicking up dust.
Standing at the ditch, he remembers the rumour; the one about the missing English woman.
But this is Mari’s story. She knows it’s her fault that her sister died, and trying to move on, she takes a dream job teaching English in small-town Japan. It turns into a nightmare when Mari learns that she’s employed by the yakuza (Japanese mafia), and that the man she loves has his own dark secrets. When the yakuza play their final hand, Mari believes that once again, it’s all her fault.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK
After her sister dies, Mari tries to move on by accepting a well-paid job teaching English in Hitano, a small town in Japan. But to her horror, she finds out she has been employed by the yakuza (Japanese mafia). She hatches a plan along with her roommate Kate to escape from their clutches. Does it succeed? You need to read the book to find out.
Gigi Karagoz’s The Fallen Persimmon is a well-written murder mystery that transported me to Japan of 1985. It shows both the metropolises as well as the beautiful countryside scenery of Japan. On the other hand, it also gives a glimpse of the dark underbelly of the country in the form of the yakuza. However, that does not mar the charm of Japan at all.
Besides scenic beauty, Karagoz brilliantly describes the characters as well. Mari (short for Marianna), the protagonist, is conscientious, naïve, avoids confrontation as much as possible, and accepts the situation to be her fault even if it is not. On the other hand, Kate is impulsive, reckless, immature, and spiteful. Due to Karagoz’s vivid descriptions, I could visualize Kate and Mari clearly.
The Fallen Persimmon starts off to a slow start. The action starts after the halfway mark, but once it started it kept me engaged till the end. Karagoz maintains the mystery intact till the end. Although the twist at the conclusion was clever, I did have my suspicions about the murderer, and I was proved correct. Nevertheless, since Karagoz kept me guessing till the end, I give her full points for the mystery part.
However, the mystery is one part of this book. It also has a good portion dedicated to romance and bits dedicated to the message of acceptance. It poignantly conveys the message of accepting what life throws at us. Fret not, Karagoz weaves all these organically to craft an engaging story. All through these, the Persimmon trees stand as silent sentinel.
Overall, I enjoyed this book.
If you want to go back in time and read a murder mystery set in 90s Japan that is tinged with romance, you can read The Fallen Persimmon by Gigi Karagoz.
Genre: Mystery || Published on July 27th 2020
The Amazon.in is an affiliate link. If you purchase from here, I will receive a very small commission at no extra cost to you.
Many thanks to Love Books Tours for organizing this blog tour. Many thanks to the publisher for my copy of the book. This does not affect my opinion on the book. I opted to provide an honest review on my blog.
Gigi has spent most of her life living and working in countries all over the world. Her big passion is travel, especially in Asia, and India is a favourite destination. Giving up a career in tourism, she qualified as a holistic therapist and worked in yoga retreats in the Mediterranean for twelve years. Currently, Gigi lives in Wiltshire with Isabella, the cat she rescued from the streets of Fethiye, in southern Turkey.