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Shadow Familyby Miyuki Miyabe
Synopses & Reviews
Selected by The Chicago Tribune as one of the "Best Books of 2005, Mysteries and Thrillers"
Shadow Family is a compelling murder mystery focusing on the murky world of Internet chat rooms populated by people from all walks of life attracted by the possibility of being whoever they want to be.
Police investigating the double murder of a middle-aged salary man and his college-aged girlfriend discover email correspondence linking the victim with members of an online fantasy family, in which he plays the part of "Dad." Meanwhile, his real-life teenage daughter is assigned police protection after complaining of being stalked. The investigation focuses increasingly on the "shadow family," as there is evidence that the members emerged from the chat room and started meeting up offline.
Veteran Desk Sergeant Takegami finds himself unexpectedly in center stage of the investigation after his colleague is hospitalized. Adding to his surprise, he is partnered with his old friend Detective Chikako Ishizu after a break of fifteen years. Working on a hunch, they collaborate to unravel the fine line between fantasy and the harsh reality of murder.
Shadow Family is excellent detective fiction that keeps you guessing until the end. Within a skillful web of intrigue, Miyabe sensitively explores the meaning of family and relationships, and the devastating effect of betrayal...
This intriguing police procedural novel centers on a middle-aged office worker's involvement in an Internet chat room, where he forms an alternate family unit that becomes his ultimate undoing.
In this compelling murder mystery focusing on the murky world of online chat rooms, veteran Desk Sergeant Takegami finds himself investigating the double murder of a teenaged girl and a middle-aged man, who has created his own "shadow family" on the Internet.
This is a murder mystery focusing on the dark world of internet chat rooms populated by people attracted by the chance to be whoever they want to be. Police investigating the murder of a middleaged office worker discover emails on the victim's computer that indicate he had been a regular participant in an internet chat room. He wrote about a fantasy "family" of which he Is father: the other members of this shadow family being people he had met. A woman detective is assigned to protect the dead man's real-life teenage daughter Kazumi, who says she's being stalked. The inspector in charge convinces his superiors to allow him to conduct a controversial experiment that involves questioning members of the internet family while Kazumi watches from behind a two-way mirror to see if she recognises any of them, either by appearance or voice. During the interview, Kazumi talks about her feelings towards her parents, and her boyfriend with whom she is in constant email contact via her cellphone...Excellent detective fiction that keeps you guessing until the end, and exploits Miyabe's skilful characterisation to the full.
In Shadow Family, Miyuki Miyabe draws readers into the amorphous world of Internet chat rooms-a world of people from all walks of life attracted by the possibility of being whomever they want to be.
Police investigating the murder of a middle-aged office worker discover e-mail correspondence on the victim's computer that indicates he had been a regular participant in an Internet chat room, as the "father" in a fantasy "family." Meanwhile, a female detective is assigned to protect the dead man's real-life daughter who complains of being stalked. As the real daughter confronts her father's alternate life, we are pulled into a psychological drama that pits reality and illusion against each other in astonishing ways.
Reading Guide available
About the Author
MIYUKI MIYABE was born in downtown Tokyo in 1960, and worked in a law office before becoming a full-time writer. She is one of Japan's most popular authors, having written a number of best-selling mysteries and suspense novels, as well as some historical fiction. Her first work translated into English, All She Was Worth, won the Shugo Yamamoto Prize in Japan. Shadow Family is her second novel to be published in English.
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