[Review] Journey under the Midnight Sun - Keigo Higashino

Title of Book: Journey Under the Midnight Sun
Author: Keigo Higashino
Publisher: Little, Brown
Publication Year: 2015
Language: English
Translator: Alexander O. Smith
Format: Paperback
Pages: 539

When a man is found murdered in an abandoned building in Osaka in 1973, unflappable detective Sasagaki is assigned to the case. He begins to piece together the connection of two young people who are inextricably linked to the crime; the dark, taciturn son of the victim and the unexpectedly captivating daughter of the main suspect. Over the next twenty years we follow their lives as Sasagaki pursues the case - which remains unsolved - to the point of obsession.
Stark, intriguing and stylish, Journey Under the Midnight Sun is an epic mystery by the bestselling Japanese author.


A man was found murdered in an abandoned building. He’s a pawnshop owner with a wife and a son named Ryo. The police tried to find the murderer and it led to a customer of his pawnshop. After following the clues, it went nowhere and the case was considered unsolved because the police had no conclusive evidence. A year later, the customer who was the main suspect, died due to a gas poisoning leaving her daughter Yukiho. It was ruled as an accident, but some thought it was suicide and one detective thought it was something else. That detective, Sasagaki, decided to follow his instinct and discovered the unexpected connection between Yukiho and Ryo. Journey Under the Midnight Sun follows Sasagaki pursuing the case for twenty years.

What I explained earlier is actually the simplification of what’s happening in this book. There’s actually a lot going on in this book considering it spans for about twenty years. Besides the main three characters, which are Sasagaki, Yukiho, and Ryo, we’ll also meet many other important characters. But they won’t make the book feel cramped or confusing as they don’t come at the same time. As in real life, people come and go and that’s also the case with this book. The interesting part is, we never get to read from Yukiho and Ryo’s perspectives. It’s always been from other characters. It’s also never stated clearly which character has connection with Yukiho or Ryo. It’s like a puzzle in itself.

Journey under the Midnight Sun is a slow paced book. At the beginning of the book, you’ll be as clueless as the police. Nothing seems going on and you’ll start questioning if there will be development to the case. But as the book progresses, the pieces will come one by one completing the puzzle in the end.

Although anything isn’t stated clearly in the beginning, Higashino cleverly put bits and pieces of information foreshadowing the truth behind the case. For example, Higashino told the reader what book Yukiho read when Sasagaki and his colleague visited her home for the first time. The info might seem irrelevant and unusual at the time. Especially considering Higashino’s writing style which is straightforward and as is. Later though, this info will be useful in uncovering the mystery.

Journey under the Midnight Sun is wrapped up nicely.  I feel satisfied with the conclusion of this book. Everything that is necessary is explained in the end while the rest is left for the readers to decide. This book doesn’t focus on who, but the why and how. Those whys and hows are explained neatly in the end. I personally love that kind of ending. It answers enough questions but left some space to reader’s imagination.

Overall, Journey under the Midnight Sun is such a roller coaster ride. The twist and turn kept me on the edge of my seat. Even though the pacing of this book is slow and can get boring in the beginning, just hang in there for a while because it gives the buildup needed for the conclusion. I highly recommend this book for mystery lovers. 

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