Author: Richard Lloyd Parry
First Published: 2011
Page Count: 434
Film/ TV Adaptation: No
Rating: 5/5 Stars
The mysterious account of a young Brit that vanishes without a trace and leaves readers with a revealing look at Japan, its unique culture, and a sociopath.
*Fascinating Story *Excellent Pacing *Thorough Coverage of the Story
“Stored in the digital data bank of the telephone company, where it will be automatically erased in a few days’ time, the mobile phone message is Lucie’s last living trace.” Lucie Blackman is a 21-year-old British tourist vacationing in exotic Tokyo, Japan when she inexplicably goes missing. Except for a mysterious call made by an unknown man to her long time friend that she was traveling with stating that she had joined a religious cult and did not want contact with anyone ever again, it is nearly impossible for family and friends to find any trace of the beloved blonde. Over the course of several years, the truth of Lucie’s tragic end at the hands of evil comes to light as well as the illegal way Lucie had been spending time in Japan, a revealing look at the Japanese police force and Japanese culture, and the unveiling of a vile crime spree that spanned three decades.
This book had been on my Christmas and birthday lists for quite a while. So long in fact, that when I received it this Christmas as a gift, I remembered I had really wanted it, but had completely forgotten what the book was about. One glance at the description on the back, and I was hooked and excited to read the book all over again. I had never heard a thing about the Lucie Blackman case, and while I was extremely tempted to Google it as I read, my lack of knowledge on the case made the reading experience more thrilling. Parry doesn’t just give us the story of what happens to Lucie, which in itself is horrifying and tragic enough. He also gives the reader an education (much-needed in my case) on Japanese culture, the background of the accused, and a look at how the disappearance affected Lucie’s family. At the end, I felt like I had been given the most well-rounded look at the case possible and it was done with near perfect pacing and layout of the timeline of events.
Here and there, the book would feel like the plot stalled occasionally, but overall I didn’t have any issues with the book. Sometimes I would wonder what would be left to say in the book after certain events took place, but Parry always had a few interesting, unforeseen twists to the story that kept the book moving. He never wasted the reader’s time with unnecessary chapters or background information. Every detail was purposefully placed to better illustrate what happened to Lucie and who her killer really was.
It feels morbid and wrong to say that I loved this book or even that I enjoyed it. Lucie’s tale is a riveting one, no question. Is it because of the case’s circumstances? The fact that any story of a woman’s life being unfairly cut so short inevitably tugs at the heartstrings? Or that it took place in Japan, where even in the 21st century this culture still holds an air of mystery to the West despite its modern civilization? What I do know is that I’m glad this book found its way on my radar.