3 Things About This Book
| Narrated from an Unwitting Participant’s POV | Deceptive and Twisty | Classic Japanese Mystery with Elements of Adventure |
Unlike The Honjin Murders and The Inugami Curse where tragedy befalls families, we have instead, specific people poisoned to death in The Village of Eight Graves. The story also unfolds differently from the other two. Instead of active participation by Detective Kosuke Kindaichi, the story is recounted from the POV of Tatsuya who found himself unwittingly embroiled in the aforementioned murders which reminds the villagers of the horrific murders carried out by Tatsuya’s blood father (whom he never knew until much later) years ago, and before that, the betrayal and killing of eight samurai (hence the village’s name) in 1566.
In addition to the main plot, we get to read about Tatsuya’s experiences as he navigates his position within his newly-found family, the norms of a remote village and its inhabitants, a hunt for the samurai’s fabled treasure, and romance. Though, The Village of Eight Graves is, on a whole, more mystery thriller with elements of adventure, which differs it from a typical whodunit.
This makes reading the Detective Kosuke Kindaichi series refreshing thus far, because despite some similarities, there are greater aspects that make each unique. Nevertheless, I must admit that my interest waned a few times while reading Tatsuya’s POV. As much as I appreciated the provided details and context throughout, they also made the story long and feeling like an information dump at certain places. Going through all of that felt more like a chore because of Tatsuya’s anxiety and naivety too.
Still, I greatly enjoyed how deceptive and twisty the story is. It’s not easy to guess who is the real culprit is due to the execution, and there were times when I wondered if this book would take on a stronger paranormal route what with all the parallels between Tatsuya’s situation, his blood father’s murders and the legend of the eight samurai. All of this makes The Village of Eight Graves a satisfying read, for sure.