Synopses & Reviews
Nothing in Japanese literature prepares us for the stark, tension-filled, plot-driven realism of Natsuo Kirino's award-winning literary mystery Out. Featuring an introduction by James Ellroy.
This mesmerizing novel tells the story of a brutal murder in the staid Tokyo suburbs, as a young mother who works the night shift making boxed lunches strangles her abusive husband and then seeks the help of her coworkers to dispose of the body and cover up her crime. The coolly intelligent Masako emerges as the plot's ringleader but quickly discovers that this killing is merely the beginning, as it leads to a terrifying foray into the violent underbelly of Japanese society.
At once a masterpiece of literary suspense and pitch-black comedy of gender warfare, Out is also a moving evocation of the pressures and prejudices that drive women to extreme deeds, and the friendships that bolster them in the aftermath.
"A nervy thriller....Out has the force of a juicy tabloid scandal....A potent cocktail of urban blight, perverse feminism and vigilante justice." — The New York Times Book Review
"Grimly satisfying...like no one you've ever read before." — Kirkus Reviews
"Brings the mystery thriller to new levels of intensity and realism....Out has great plot twists, vigor, and an ending that would make Hannibal Lecter smile." — Library Journal (Starred Review)
About the Author
Natsuo Kirino, born in 1951, quickly established a reputation in her own country as one of a rare breed of mystery writer whose work goes well beyond the conventional crime novel. This fact has been demonstrated by her winning not only the Grand Prix for Crime Fiction in Japan — for Out in 1998 — but one of its major literary awards — the Naoki Prize in 1999, for Soft Cheeks (to be published in English). Several of her books have also been turned into full-scale movies.
Out is the first of her novels to appear in English and was nominated for an Edgar Award. Natsuo Kirino lives in Japan.