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Publisher's Summary

Acclaimed best-selling novelist Kunihiko Hidaka is found brutally murdered in his home on the night before he's planning to leave Japan and relocate to Vancouver. His body is found in his office, a locked room, within his locked house, by his wife and his best friend, both of whom have rock solid alibis. Or so it seems. 

At the crime scene, Police Detective Kyochiro Kaga recognizes Hidaka's best friend, Osamu Nonoguchi. Years ago when they were both teachers, they were colleagues at the same public school. Kaga went on to join the police force while Nonoguchi eventually left to become a full-time writer, though with not nearly the success of his friend Hidaka. As Kaga investigates, he eventually uncovers evidence that indicates that the two writers' relationship was very different that they claimed, that they were anything but best friends. But the question before Kaga isn't necessarily who, or how, but why. 

In a brilliantly realized tale of cat and mouse, the detective and the killer battle over the truth of the past and how events that led to the murder really unfolded. And if Kaga isn't able to uncover and prove why the murder was committed, then the truth may never come out. Malice is one of the best-selling - the most acclaimed - novel in Keigo Higashino's series featuring police detective Kyochiro Kaga, one of the most popular creations of the best-selling novelist in Asia. 

©1996 Keigo Higashino (P)2014 Macmillan Audio

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Thanks to the work of translators and publishers, Japanese literature is now more accessible than ever to English-speaking audiences. If you've ever wanted to learn more about Japanese culture and literature, you cannot go wrong with listening to audiobooks from Japan. We've compiled a list of the most famous Japanese authors who have helped define Japanese literature, and their notable works across genres and time periods.

What listeners say about Malice

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    4 out of 5 stars

Worth reading; the previous two books were better

I like Higashino. In my opinion he is the classiest of all thriller writers. His detectives solve mysteries based on logic and deduction: coincidence and chance play absolutely no role in the process. His plots are to mystery writing what chess is to sport.
Higashino also tells you the name of the murderer right in the beginning in his novels. The fun comes when the detectives try to solve the murder. There are layers upon layers of deception. No James Bond stuff like car chases and people jumping off roofs. Some might consider his books a little boring.
This particular book is, in that sense, just like his previous two. A man is killed, the killer is found quickly, and the detective now has to discover the motive.
Higashino makes the entire process interesting. The characters are very well developed. The pace is adequate: not at all fast, but no too slow either.
Higashino's earlier two books were better. But this is worth reading too.

8 people found this helpful

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entertaining

What did you like best about Malice? What did you like least?

I have listened to two other of Keigo Higashino's books. They were absolutely brilliant. Clever and surprising. This one not as good, so that was a disappointment. I enjoyed reading about the process of writing, a story about writers. The mystery was secondary and I wasnt 'bursting' to find out what really happened.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The story got a bit tedious in parts. Not enough dialogue or character development.

Which scene was your favorite?

I enjoyed the beginning of the book most of all.

Was Malice worth the listening time?

It was worth the listening time.

Any additional comments?

Devotion of Suspect X by the same author is a million times better than Malice

7 people found this helpful

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Great mystery!

Any additional comments?

Finally! I find a great crime mystery that actually focuses on the crime. There are no sexual innuendoes, no erotica, and no suffering through romance.

This story is about murder and betrayal. Absolutely fantastic. * Finger crossed * I can find more great reads like this one!!!

4 people found this helpful

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Excellent piece of work!

just loved it! so many subltle twists and turns, the story keeps you in check till the very end.

3 people found this helpful

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Way too self-indulgent for me

Ultimately it came off as a poor cross between an Agatha Christie ripoff and a ripoff of the movie Sleuth. And I couldn’t get past the question of why it would be so crucial to have a convincing motive in order to prosecute. I mean, I get that it had to be crucial in order for the author to have a story, and maybe in Japan it is considered essential, but my understanding is that it’s not necessary to provide a motive to prosecute a crime based on evidence. So it’s more of an artifact to set up a bunch of oneupmanship. The mystery for the reader is “what am I being set up for now?” and I got to the point I didn’t care. So I skipped to the end, found nothing surprising there, and was glad I didn’t listen to the rest. Pretentious, written for other writers. Not for me.

1 person found this helpful

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Not one of his best

Overall I liked the story and the mystery was good. But the way most of the story was told as narration was disappointing.

1 person found this helpful

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Wow! What a book!

This is a fantastic book with many twists. Just when you think you've got it...

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4.4

unusual way of telling a crime story. it's all about the motive. all the "action" happens quickly, then the motive is slowly unwound. I liked it but the end is no shocker. it is a big philosophical question.

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Wow! wonderful

One of the best murder mysteries I have ever read.
The story seemed straightforward at first but turned out to be very intricate and very intelligent. The performance was also great with all the characters distinct.

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Great Detective Story

This is one those stories where one of the storytellers is not being honest (not telling the whole truth), and we learn at the end of the story what the real truth is. I enjoyed the story and it did hold my attention and interest all the way through. The narrator did a good job, some characters had distinctive voices others did not.

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  • Michael Mathews
  • 11-08-14

Interesting story, but performance was hard

What did you like best about this story?

It's really the same story told three times, once by the suspect, once again by the detective, and then finally in its true form, with no misdirection or misinterpretation. As an author, this is akin to a great magician who can perform a trick, then perform it again from the opposite vantage, then actually show you how it was done, and every single time you are amazed and astounded in different ways. Higashino is such a master of the form, he can actually play with it, turning it on its head, almost reinventing it, and the result is still compelling.

What didn’t you like about Jeff Woodman’s performance?

It isn't Jeff's fault at all, since the way the story was written, the author intended it to seem as if specific characters were recounting large swathes of the plot in their own words. To translate this to a spoken performance the Mr Woodman adopted the voice of the specific character, and then read out many long passages of the story, including all dialog etc sticking always to that voice. The single voice for all that section reminds the listener that the events are being conveyed and interpreted by that character. This is a critical point in what makes the overall story work. Unfortunately a giant chunk of the book is in the voice of Detective Kaga, who is very monotone. As a character this makes him an interesting detective, but as a narrator it is quickly tiring to listen to. Still, as I said, I think the plot actually requires this, as it is so important to the what makes the story work.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Irene P
  • 03-08-15

really interesting

really liked it. i am a fun of detective stories and found this a good "old school" story which kept me engaged and thinking. even guessing a good part of the truth before the end did not make it less interestinv for me.

1 person found this helpful

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  • N. Toofany
  • 05-18-19

An unpredictable rollercoaster

Loved it. Perhaps not as much as devotion of Suspect X or salvation of a saint but still loved it. It was such a rollercoaster because everytime you thought you knew something, turned out you didn't.

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  • SarahSpincat
  • 02-18-19

Dark, haunting, intricate

An intricate, brilliant story told in many voices by a superb storyteller.
There are lots of twists and turns in a mystery that, whilst solved by Inspector Kaga, has at centre something that can't be solved - the puzzle of human nature at its darkest.
Something different, something great. I'll be seeking out anything I can by Keigo Higashino.

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  • Yoshay
  • 08-02-18

Average

Nothing like Devotion of Suspect X but listenable nonetheless. The characters were not as well crafted as in Devotion and the story while it had the twist that is Higashino's speciality, fell flat in the end. It is an average crime story. Nothing spectacular.

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  • Rob Dove
  • 07-31-15

Best Higashino yet

If you could sum up Malice in three words, what would they be?

twisted logical thinking

What other book might you compare Malice to, and why?

I've read devotion to suspect x & salvation of a saint before this. In my opinion this is the best of the 3, I've enjoyed all of them but this one seems sharper to me & a bit different.

What does Jeff Woodman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Not alot but the narration was fine, I would prefer David Pittu who narrated the previous books .

Any additional comments?

If you liked Devotion of suspect x don't hesitate to get this

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  • elizabeth b.
  • 02-11-21

Brilliant

Now that’s a murder mystery. My only complaint is I was a bit confused with the Japanese names. Great narrator. Gentle voice. Oh yes I really loved that.