My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 4 days
Pages - 352
Publisher - Abacus
Source - Review copy
Blurb from Goodreads
Detective Galileo, Keigo Higashino’s best loved character from The Devotion of Suspect X, returns in a complex and challenging mystery—several murders, decades apart, with no solid evidence.
A popular young girl disappears without a trace, her skeletal remains discovered three years later in the ashes of a burned out house. There’s a suspect and compelling circumstantial evidence of his guilt, but no concrete proof. When he isn’t indicted, he returns to mock the girl’s family. And this isn’t the first time he’s been suspected of the murder of a young girl, nearly twenty years ago he was tried and released due to lack of evidence. Chief Inspector Kusanagi of the Homicide Division of the Tokyo Police worked both cases.
The neighborhood in which the murdered girl lived is famous for an annual street festival, featuring a parade with entries from around Tokyo and Japan. During the parade, the suspected killer dies unexpectedly. His death is suspiciously convenient but the people with all the best motives have rock solid alibis. CI Kusanagi turns once again to his college friend, Physics professor and occasional police consultant Manabu Yukawa, known as Detective Galileo, to help solve the string of impossible to prove murders.
So this is book four in a series, I haven't read the others and started here, I think reading the earlier books may well have given me a bit more connection to the characters. Imagine your beloved daughter going missing and her remains found a few years later in a house fire. Everyone knows the killer and their guilty but they get off because of evidence issues. What is worse is it isn't the first time he has been connected to something like this and also went free then. If all of that isn't bad enough the arrogance of the killer to be around and taunt the family with his presence.
So the book splits a bit, we have the family of the victim, hard working, family orientated and very loved in their community. The police investigated, the guy visiting the family at their workplace and just being a very smart but lacking any kind of morality, hate him! A big festival happens locally and what do you know the bad guy dies under suspicious circumstances. The police are looking into it and with his connection to the local girls death the suspects are plentiful.
It is a busy book and I liked the professor helping out with the investigation, unofficially of course. There are a fair few players and despite us jumping around them it wasn't overly difficult to follow. I liked it I didn't love it, not sure if that would have changed had I read the earlier books. This was my first time reading this author, I would read them again, 3/5 for me this time.