Story in brief: Osamu Nonoguchi (ex-teacher, author of children books) finds himself implicated in the murder of his childhood friend, best selling author, Kunihiko Hidaka. All suspects have alibis, and Kaga (ex-teacher, detective) finds himself being sucked into the vortex of the mystery of the motive behind the murder. Its a crafty murder, ingenious, convoluted - and Kaga gives it his all to nail down the reason for the murder.
The book has been translated from Japanese into English by Alexander Smith. The book has been written in the form of journal (like so many books of late) - one by Osamu and the other by Kaga. The writing is insipid, boring, vanilla. Or maybe its poorly translated. It is hard to say for sure. There are a series of interviews in the end by witnesses and it was frustrating to read all those first person accounts which came across as forced and fake. I felt a little put-off not to mention confused (which I suppose was the whole idea of building up the mystery)
The mystery in itself is refreshing. Even though the murderer is arrested early on, the motive, as per the detective Kaga doesn't ring true. Essentially, the greater part of the book is the search for the motive, not the murderer. That is a different take from the regular run of the mill murder mysteries.