Villain by Shuichi Yoshida
A Novel (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)

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A young insurance saleswoman is found strangled at Mitsuse Pass. Her family and friends are shocked and terrified. The pass—which tunnels through a mountainous region of southern Japan—has an eerie history: a hideout for robbers, murderers, and ghostly creatures lurking at night.
Soon afterward, a young construction worker becomes the primary suspect. As the investigation unfolds, the events leading up to the murder come darkly into focus, revealing a troubled cast of characters: the victim, Yoshino, a woman much too eager for acceptance; the suspect, Yuichi, a car enthusiast misunderstood by everyone around him; the victim’s middle-aged father, a barber disappointed with his life; and the suspect’s aging grandmother, who survived the starvation of postwar Japan only to be tormented by local gangsters. And, finally, there is desperate Mitsuyo, the lonely woman who finds Yuichi online and makes the big mistake of falling for him.
A stunningly dark thriller and a tapestry of noir, Villain is the English-language debut for Shuichi Yoshida, one of Japan’s most acclaimed and accomplished writers. From desolate seaside towns and lighthouses to love hotels and online chat rooms, Villain reveals the inner lives of men and women who all have something to hide. Part police procedural, part gritty realism, Villain is a coolly seductive story of loneliness and alienation in the southernmost reaches of Japan.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Shuichi Yoshida

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Shuichi Yoshida was born in Nagasaki, Japan, in 1968. The author of nine books, he has won numerous literary awards in Japan and has also had several of his short stories adapted for Japanese television. Villain won the Osaragi Jiro Prize and the Mainichi Publishing Culture Award, two prestigious Japanese prizes. Yoshida lives in Tokyo.
Published August 3, 2010 by Vintage. 306 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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Yoshida examines the lives of a victim and a killer in this subtle but powerful novel about collective guilt and individual atonement, his first book to appear in English translation. The police arres

Jun 14 2010 | Read Full Review of Villain: A Novel (Vintage Cri...

The Wall Street Journal

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In two novels, murder is less mysterious than the people surrounding it.

Aug 05 2010 | Read Full Review of Villain: A Novel (Vintage Cri...

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The New Yorker

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Sep 27 2010 | Read Full Review of Villain: A Novel (Vintage Cri...


Book review: Villain by Shuichi Yoshida (Harvill Secker, £12.99) is a sprawling whodunnit representing the first English version of a work by hailed Japanese author Shuichi Yoshida.

Aug 25 2010 | Read Full Review of Villain: A Novel (Vintage Cri...

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