Lucie Blackman - tall, blond, 21 years old - stepped out into the vastness of Tokyo in the summer of 2000 and disappeared. The following winter, her dismembered remains were found buried in a seaside cave. The seven months in between had seen a massive search for the missing girl involving Japanese policemen, British private detectives, and Lucie’s desperate but bitterly divided parents. Had Lucie been abducted by a religious cult or snatched by human traffickers? Who was the mysterious man she had gone to meet? And what did her work as a hostess in the notorious Roppongi district of Tokyo really involve?
Richard Lloyd Parry, an award-winning foreign correspondent, followed the case from the beginning. Over the course of a decade, as the rest of the world forgot but the trial dragged on, he traveled to four continents to interview those connected with the story, assiduously followed the court proceedings, and won unique access to the Japanese detectives who investigated the case. Ultimately he earned the respect of the victim’s family and delved deep into the mind and background of the man accused of the crime - Joji Obara, described by the judge as “unprecedented and extremely evil.” The result is a book at once thrilling and revelatory.
Richard Lloyd Parry is the Asia editor and Tokyo bureau chief of the London Times and the author of In the Time of Madness.
©2011, 2012 Richard Lloyd Parry (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“A masterpiece of writing this surely is, but it is more than that - it is a committed, compassionate, courageous act of journalism that changes the way we think. Everyone who has ever loved someone and held that life dear should read this stunning book, and shiver.” (Chris Cleave, number one New York Times best-selling author of Little Bee)
“I opened this book as a skeptic. I am not a lover of true crime…. But Richard Lloyd Parry's remarkable examination of [this] crime, what it revealed about Japanese society and how it unsettled conventional notions of bereavement, elevates his book above the genre. People Who Eat Darkness is a searing exploration of evil and trauma and how both ultimately elude understanding or resolution.… Just as the grief of Blackman’s parents is unassaugeable, Obara and his motives are unknowable. That is the darkness at the heart of this book, one Lloyd Parry conveys with extraordinary effect and emotion.… People Who Eat Darkness is a fascinating mediation that does not pretend to offer pat answers to obscene mysteries.” (New York Times Book Review)
“[A] masterful literary true crime story, which earns its comparisons to Truman Capote's In Cold Blood and Norman Mailer's The Executioner’s Song.… Like the case of Etan Patz, the Lucie Blackman disappearance captured the public imagination. By writing about it in such culturally informed detail, Parry subtly encourages an understanding that goes past the headlines. It is a dark, unforgettable ride.” (Los Angeles Times)
I wish that I could give this book 6 stars or change some of the books that I rated 5 stars to 4. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed the book; so much that I finished it in 2 days. Simon Vance is one of my absolute favorite narrators. This book is in my top 5 favorite books.
Fact based book which was gripping, sad (because it was true) and a solid story about the dealings of life. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes true fiction (crime or mystery) but a book which allows us to reflect and analyze life.
If you like true crime, you will love this well-written book. The murders occurred in Japan. The author explores the psychology of Japanese culture as well as that of the murderer himself. I recommend this book.
Probably not from this author, but Simon Vance is as good as always.
His accent is appealing and he always does a good job as narrator.
The story starts with Lucy disappearing, and then... nothing happens. Its more than halfway through the book before anything related to her disappearance starts to happen. I was not interested in the detailed back story of Lucy, her family, her boyfriend, her BFF and other people in the story. I also would have preferred if the story were chronological, instead of being told in chunks that go back and forth in time.
Saving the world, one person at a time, starting with me.
I would listen and will be listening to this story again. It is a great read, besides being a fascinating look inside a culture that is hardly ever exposed to us in the states.
The blood money.
Loved Simon's read.
Who are the people who eat darkness?
"Oooh, a chilling premise. Let's find out what happened to these missing girls! Creepy! Who did this? Are they satanic? Are they... oh, I'm getting bored. yawn. Wait, what just happened? Better rewind... Oh, okay, this is getting better... Ooooh no way! Wow this is getting good!... Oh. Actually, that's kind of a letdown.... Well, I saw that coming. Should I just stop listening? No, i really want to see what happens. What should I have for dinner? ..."
-My brain while listening to this book
Though the author spends a little too long on the work of the father to promote his daughter's cause to the media, it's a gripping story, well written, full of twists and turns, and well-performed by Vance, who takes great care to properly pronounce the Japanese.
The other reviews made it sound like it is a store about a very depraved crime, but really compared to most crime novels it's not as riveting or crazy. What they should really say is it's a very depraved crime for Japan's standards. When I read a crime novel I want to hear about the worst of the worst, compared to many other crime novels it was boring IMHO.
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