People Who Eat Darkness by Richard Lloyd Parry

WOW this is such a haunting book, but made more terrifying knowing it's a true crime novel. People Who Eat Darkness was my bookclub's May pick (I am lagging on posting- yikes) and it had actually been sitting on my bookshelf for six months, waiting to be read! The best! I am not unique by hopping on the train of fascination around true crime addictions (who else watched Making A Murdered in one sitting?) but this is essentially the Tokyo version of that- on crack. I shlepped it around NYC for a few weeks hoping that someone on the subway would stop me and say 'OMG- YES' and then we would run and get ramen and compare it to Serial or The Jinx, but it sadly didn't happen- and thats okay. 

From An incisive and compelling account of the case of Lucie Blackman. Lucie Blackman - tall, blonde, and 21 years old - stepped out into the vastness of Tokyo in the summer of 2000, and disappeared forever. 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, Australian dowsers and Lucie's desperate, but bitterly divided, parents. As the case unfolded, it drew the attention of prime ministers and sado-masochists, ambassadors and con-men, and reporters from across the world. 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?

I hated so much of the first two-hundred pages of the book, mainly because all the key players felt genuinely twisted and deceitful to me. It is often compared to the 'next In Cold Blood,' which is a long stretch, but the difference with most true crime novels compared to People Who Eat Darkness is that, generally speaking, the victim is typically portrayed as an angelic heroin left in the face of tragedy- but this story shone light on rather large flaws or hiccups- which was odd to read. Once I got over the part of comparing it to every other crime novel, I was pretty hooked. 

I ended up devouring the last 250 pages in a two-day sitting and thoroughly enjoyed it/highly recommend it to lovers of crime fiction/true crime enthusiast with excitement. It was fascinating and so well done, I left the book with such a new outlook on Tokyo (even if bias, but have such a different insight to the Japanese justice system) and crime writing in general. One of my favorite reads of 2016, highly suggest!