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People Who Eat Darkness: The True Story of a Young Woman Who Vanished from the Streets of Tokyo--And the Evil That Swallowed Her Upby Richard Lloyd Parry
Synopses & Reviews
One of The Economists 2011 Books of the Year
“A masterpiece of writing this surely is, but it is more than that—it is a committed, compassionate, courageous act of journalism that changes the way we think. Everyone who has ever loved someone and held that life dear should read this stunning book, and shiver.” —Chris Cleave, author of Little Bee and Incendiary
Lucie Blackman-a tall, blond, twentyone-year-old-stepped out into the vastness of Tokyo in the summer of 2000 and disappeared. The following winter, her dismembered remains were found buried in a seaside cave. The seven months in between had seen a massive search for the missing girl, involving Japanese policemen, British private detectives, and Lucies desperate but bitterly divided parents. Had Lucie been abducted by a religious cult or snatched by human traffickers? Who was the mysterious man she had gone to meet? And what did her work as a hostess in the notorious Roppongi district of Tokyo really involve?
Richard Lloyd Parry, an award-winning foreign correspondent, had followed the case since Lucies disappearance. Over the course of a decade, as the rest of the world forgot but the trial dragged on, he traveled to four continents to interview those connected with the story, assiduously followed the court proceedings, and won unique access to the Japanese detectives who investigated the case. Ultimately he earned the respect of the victims family, and delved deep into the mind and background of the man accused of the crime: Joji Obara, described by the judge as “unprecedented and extremely evil.” The result is “a big, ambitious true-crime book in the tradition of Norman Mailers The Executioners Song and Truman Capotes In Cold Blood” (Esquire).
"London Times Asia editor and Tokyo bureau chief Parry (In the Time of Madness) spent nearly a decade in pursuit of the truth behind the disappearance and murder of a young British woman in Tokyo. He offers an exceptional — and terrifying — account of sexual sadism, the Japanese legal system, and a family ripped apart by tragedy. Twenty-one-year-old Lucie Blackman traveled to Tokyo with her best friend in 2000 to pay off her debts by 'hostessing,' which, unlike prostitution, simply involved chatting up male visitors for as long as possible. But one night, Lucie disappeared. For seven months, her father, Tim, and younger sister Sophie traveled to Tokyo repeatedly, begging for help from the public and the inept police, who seemed to be investigating at a glacial pace. Eventually, Lucie's dismembered remains were found buried in a seaside cave near the home of the only suspect. Reporting the story, Parry discovered a side of Japan he hadn't known; his Tokyo thrums with energy, and the long-dead Lucie haunts the page as her killer fills the reader's consciousness with an undeniable sense of dread. Agent: Jen Carlson, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Lucie Blackman—tall, blond, twenty-one years old—stepped out into the vastness of Tokyo in the summer of 2000, and disappeared forever. The following winter, her dismembered remains were found buried in a seaside cave.
Richard Lloyd Parry, an award-winning foreign correspondent, covered Lucies disappearance and followed the massive search for her, the long investigation, and the even longer trial. Over ten years, he earned the trust of her family and friends, won unique access to the Japanese detectives and Japans convoluted legal system, and delved deep into the mind of the man accused of the crime, Joji Obara, described by the judge as “unprecedented and extremely evil.”
The result is a book at once thrilling and revelatory, “In Cold Blood for our times” (Chris Cleave, author of Incendiary and Little Bee).
The People Who Eat Darkness is one of Publishers Weekly's Top 10 Best Books of 2012
About the Author
Richard Lloyd Parry is the Asia editor and Tokyo bureau chief of The Times (London) and the author of In the Time of Madness.
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