One of the main reasons why I took up this challenge was to discover new authors. I have never heard or read anything of Miyabe, furthermore I don’t really read mysteries (bad memories of being forced to read Agatha Christie) or horror as fantastical things tend to bother me a teensy bit. In this case I was quite eager to see what would await me.
Personally I think a sign of a great book is one that manages to change people’s ideas about a certain genre and thankfully Crossfire does this. Not only do have I changed my view on mystery books (In fact one of the best books I read in this challenge was a whodunnit – In Search of Klingsor). but my perception of horror has changed.
Junk Aoki has the power to set things on fire. One night while practising in a factory she comes across a group of teenagers, who try to kill a half dead man. Junko ends up burning all but one of the gang and she finds out that the man has a girlfriend kept hostage. Junko then aims to find the girlfriend and ‘punish’ the gang in the process. This not the first time she has killed in order for good to reign.
In the meantime Police Dectective Chikako discovers the burnt gang and remembers the other burnings. Thus she sets up an investigation, which results in her chasing Junko and discovering more about the supernatural world she lives in.
To add another twist in the novel Junko comes across an organisation called the guardians.- A group of vigilantes who also kill for the good of mankind. She does become embroiled with them and it leads to a spectacular conclusion.
The clever thing about the novel is that we readers already know the aims of both Junko and Chikako and yet the fact we don’t know how the events turn out makes Crossfire an engrossing read. Although well structured Miyabe chucks in a lot of plot twists which change your impression of both characters and by the end of the novel the idea of good and evil are totally confused.
Maybe this review is a bit on the scant side but to go into more detail will simply ruin the book. All I can say is that if you are wary do check this out – you’ll be surprised!