Confessions is Criminally Good Book Club’s August selection and wow…. just wow – I loved this book! I can see how it easily became a #1 international bestseller.
From the back cover:
When Yuko Moriguchi’s four-year-old daughter died at the middle school where she teaches, everyone thought it was a tragic accident.
Now it’s the last day of term, and Yuko’s last day at work. She tells her students that she has resigned because of what happened – but not for the reasons they think.
Her daughter didn’t die in an accident. Her daughter was killed by two pupils in the class. And before she leaves, she has a lesson to teach…
But revenge has a way of spinning out of control, and Yuko’s last lecture is only the start of the story.
In this bestselling Japanese thriller of love, despair and murder, everyone has a confession to make, and no one will escape unharmed.
We have a contender, a real contender for a slot in my top ten books of the year – Confessions was all kinds of twisted brilliant! Definitely one of the best opening chapters I have ever read – Yuko is delivering her last lecture to the class and let me tell you, it’s one hell of a gripping speech. Even when class ends and the children are free to leave, not one of them does and I wouldn’t have either, because that speech was epic and laid the foundation for all that follows. I could write a full review on the opening chapter alone, it was so powerful, Minato really shows the power words have. In her speech, she identified the killers and explains how she will have her revenge but that’s only the start of the story, the knock on effect runs so much deeper. I haven’t even finished this review, but let me tell you now, read this book – it’s a psychological thriller so different to what’s currently flooding the market.
And if chapter one wasn’t powerful enough, enter chapter two, narrated by one of Yuko’s students, she lets Yuko know the knock-on effect of her speech, ending with:
“What do you think of your revenge now?”
I kid you not, if I was a cartoon character, my eyes would have popped out of my head! That was not the knock-on effect I anticipated – just wow!
If this is war, Yuko is dropping nuclear bombs! I dare you to read this book and not be hooked from beginning to end – it’s psychological warfare! Confessions is dark, unnerving, gripping and so clever! None of the characters are particularly likeable, not even Yuko herself, but they don’t need to be, you are so engrossed in how things play out after Yuko’s lecture, you don’t need a connection to any of the characters. Author, Simon Lelic, describes this novel as “a book with claws” and I couldn’t agree more!
If you’re looking for a psychological thriller that will have you totally engrossed, it comes in the form of this Japanese crime fiction novel, translated to perfection by Stephen Snyder, Confessions is the novel you need to read! And if that wasn’t enough, this novel has been adapted into a film, so while you read this book, I’m going to find a copy of the film!