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  • Malice

  • Kyoichiro Kaga
  • Written by: Keigo Higashino
  • Narrated by: Jeff Woodman
  • Length: 7 hrs and 31 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (90 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Acclaimed best-selling novelist Kunihiko Hidaka is found brutally murdered in his home on the night before he's planning to leave Japan and relocate to Vancouver. His body is found in his office, a locked room, within his locked house, by his wife and his best friend, both of whom have rock solid alibis. Or so it seems. 

At the crime scene, Police Detective Kyochiro Kaga recognizes Hidaka's best friend, Osamu Nonoguchi. Years ago when they were both teachers, they were colleagues at the same public school. Kaga went on to join the police force while Nonoguchi eventually left to become a full-time writer, though with not nearly the success of his friend Hidaka. As Kaga investigates, he eventually uncovers evidence that indicates that the two writers' relationship was very different that they claimed, that they were anything but best friends. But the question before Kaga isn't necessarily who, or how, but why. 

In a brilliantly realized tale of cat and mouse, the detective and the killer battle over the truth of the past and how events that led to the murder really unfolded. And if Kaga isn't able to uncover and prove why the murder was committed, then the truth may never come out. Malice is one of the best-selling - the most acclaimed - novel in Keigo Higashino's series featuring police detective Kyochiro Kaga, one of the most popular creations of the best-selling novelist in Asia. 

©1996 Keigo Higashino (P)2014 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about Malice

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Brilliant!

This book makes the word 'malice' so full of evil intent that a reader shudders. Plagiarism, the writing world, murder, investigation, and a killer's mind make this book an essential read for those who want to write crime fiction. - Arvind Passey - Blog: www.passey.info

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Brilliant!! Must Read

I am big fan of Japanese crime thrillers especially the closed room mysteries. This book lives up to my expectations. A famous Author is murdered, the clues are obvious and the motives are clear. The story shifts from Present to Past and we see how old wounds never heal. As an avid crime fiction reader, there were traps for the reader which I spotted effortlessly. I was so happy to have outwitted the author, alas my happiness was short-lived 😁 Higashino is a master storyteller and he turned the tables in the end. The narration was fantastic too.

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Wonderful Story

What a plot! The narration is too good. Voice modulation and pronunciations are flawless. Highly recommended.

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Engaging storyline

An excellent crime thriller with many twists and turns. Narration was on point and very clear. l would like to hear Jeff Woodman more. Enjoyed every minute of it.

The writer Keigo Higashino has a very good understanding of bullying in schools and its after effects on psyche. Also, how competitive writing as a profession can be. Go for it without a doubt.

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best crime and thriller story line!

marvellous story it is. Too much captive to hold you on till the end... seems to be predicatable but surely it is not. The author has written it so well with every minute detail one might think as probability to occur for crime to take place..
loved it!

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Awesome

Loved it. couldn't stop till the end. enjoyed everybit of it. worth a read for sure

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Gripping till the very end!

Loved the narration. The story has very many layers to it. Every time you think you're reaching the climax, it actually leads to a more nuanced plot.

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Why delivery is a function of expectations…

A very nicely conceived and presented ‘howdunit’.
My expectations had been unreasonably raised by the many superlatives I had heard / read about the author.
Hence the mild feeling of ‘was expecting more’.

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Exceptional

The book was mind-blowing, and the narrator was magnificent. I enjoyed the twists and turns very much. The author is quite my favourite.

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excellent mystery.

Loved the book, the narratio was superb. The suspense was kept up till the ending.

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  • SUNEET
  • 16-02-15

Worth reading; the previous two books were better

I like Higashino. In my opinion he is the classiest of all thriller writers. His detectives solve mysteries based on logic and deduction: coincidence and chance play absolutely no role in the process. His plots are to mystery writing what chess is to sport.
Higashino also tells you the name of the murderer right in the beginning in his novels. The fun comes when the detectives try to solve the murder. There are layers upon layers of deception. No James Bond stuff like car chases and people jumping off roofs. Some might consider his books a little boring.
This particular book is, in that sense, just like his previous two. A man is killed, the killer is found quickly, and the detective now has to discover the motive.
Higashino makes the entire process interesting. The characters are very well developed. The pace is adequate: not at all fast, but no too slow either.
Higashino's earlier two books were better. But this is worth reading too.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Louise Johnson
  • 22-11-14

entertaining

What did you like best about Malice? What did you like least?

I have listened to two other of Keigo Higashino's books. They were absolutely brilliant. Clever and surprising. This one not as good, so that was a disappointment. I enjoyed reading about the process of writing, a story about writers. The mystery was secondary and I wasnt 'bursting' to find out what really happened.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The story got a bit tedious in parts. Not enough dialogue or character development.

Which scene was your favorite?

I enjoyed the beginning of the book most of all.

Was Malice worth the listening time?

It was worth the listening time.

Any additional comments?

Devotion of Suspect X by the same author is a million times better than Malice

7 people found this helpful

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  • HaloLove
  • 23-02-16

Great mystery!

Any additional comments?

Finally! I find a great crime mystery that actually focuses on the crime. There are no sexual innuendoes, no erotica, and no suffering through romance.

This story is about murder and betrayal. Absolutely fantastic. * Finger crossed * I can find more great reads like this one!!!

5 people found this helpful

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  • Suman N.
  • 05-11-18

Excellent piece of work!

just loved it! so many subltle twists and turns, the story keeps you in check till the very end.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Elaine
  • 15-10-14

Good story; annoying performance

I got this audiobook the day it came out because I really enjoyed all of Higashino's other Audible titles.Jeff Woodman's reading instantly turned me off the book, though: he sounded fake and smug and heavily emphasized every other word...it sounded like a very badly dubbed anime. The book has two narrators, Detective Kaga and Osamu Nonoguchi, and while Kaga's is tolerable--not good, just tolerable--the Nonoguchi passages are unbearable, and since he talks for the first hour or so, the book makes a bad first impression.

Luckily, my mom didn't know I bought the audiobook, and she sent me the hardback for my birthday :D I tore through the rest of the book this afternoon...couldn't put it down! I don't think it's quite as good as Naoko or the Detective Galileo books, as the detective himself isn't as developed a character--and now that I think about it, none of the characters are as developed as in Higashino's other novels, at least the ones that have been translated into English.

Overall, this is an excellent book that makes me anxious for more of Higashino' books to be translated, especially the Detective Galileo series. (Get a move on Macmillan!) The audiobook just really, really deserved a better performance

3 people found this helpful

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  • Episteme
  • 09-02-21

Way too self-indulgent for me

Ultimately it came off as a poor cross between an Agatha Christie ripoff and a ripoff of the movie Sleuth. And I couldn’t get past the question of why it would be so crucial to have a convincing motive in order to prosecute. I mean, I get that it had to be crucial in order for the author to have a story, and maybe in Japan it is considered essential, but my understanding is that it’s not necessary to provide a motive to prosecute a crime based on evidence. So it’s more of an artifact to set up a bunch of oneupmanship. The mystery for the reader is “what am I being set up for now?” and I got to the point I didn’t care. So I skipped to the end, found nothing surprising there, and was glad I didn’t listen to the rest. Pretentious, written for other writers. Not for me.

1 person found this helpful

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  • BBC
  • 03-05-20

Not one of his best

Overall I liked the story and the mystery was good. But the way most of the story was told as narration was disappointing.

1 person found this helpful

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  • L. O. Pardue
  • 03-04-15

Intriguing, But . . .

This was my first book by Keigo Higashino featuring the Japanese detective, Kyoichiro Kaga. I am not sure why I chose this book because I don't enjoy books where the discovery of the "murderer" is known too early in the story. My fave listens are police procedurals that are true whodunnits.

Despite that set-up, Higashino still gave me a whodunnit by making the motive for the murder the true mystery. Why would someone kill a famous author as he is packing to leave the country to live in Canada? It was so smart of the author to leave hidden clues in written accounts the murderer provides instead of going through the standard interrogation. Kaga is my kind of detective - diligent and creative.

Many of the reviewers say Higashino's earlier books are much better. If that is the case, I will give another one a try. I wish there had been more narrative about life in Japan. This story could have been set anywhere. I don't feel I learned much about Kaga and his life. The narrator was OK -- slow and steady.

1 person found this helpful

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  • ZiggyZ
  • 26-02-15

Innovative approach to the murder mystery

First book I've read by this author and I am definitely give him another try. Great innovative approach to a murder mystery! You learn right away whodunnit, but why is a long story full of interesting twists and turns.

On the negative side, none of the characters were particularly likeable including Detective Kaga. I guess the murder victim was likeable, but he died in chapter 1, and we didn't find out what he was really like until the last couple of chapters.

Japanese names are not very hard to pronounce, yet Mr. Woodman had trouble with them, and it was distracting. Overall I didn't really respond to his tone. Maybe it was his reading that made every character to seem to be somewhere on the scale running "meh" to "buffoonish" to "downright evil".

1 person found this helpful

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  • Boston
  • 16-08-22

Twist and shout!

A great book, fully thought out original plot. Awesome reader. Compelling story. I’ve read thousands of mystery stories and pride myself in figuring them out. This was a surprise.

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  • Michael Mathews
  • 08-11-14

Interesting story, but performance was hard

What did you like best about this story?

It's really the same story told three times, once by the suspect, once again by the detective, and then finally in its true form, with no misdirection or misinterpretation. As an author, this is akin to a great magician who can perform a trick, then perform it again from the opposite vantage, then actually show you how it was done, and every single time you are amazed and astounded in different ways. Higashino is such a master of the form, he can actually play with it, turning it on its head, almost reinventing it, and the result is still compelling.

What didn’t you like about Jeff Woodman’s performance?

It isn't Jeff's fault at all, since the way the story was written, the author intended it to seem as if specific characters were recounting large swathes of the plot in their own words. To translate this to a spoken performance the Mr Woodman adopted the voice of the specific character, and then read out many long passages of the story, including all dialog etc sticking always to that voice. The single voice for all that section reminds the listener that the events are being conveyed and interpreted by that character. This is a critical point in what makes the overall story work. Unfortunately a giant chunk of the book is in the voice of Detective Kaga, who is very monotone. As a character this makes him an interesting detective, but as a narrator it is quickly tiring to listen to. Still, as I said, I think the plot actually requires this, as it is so important to the what makes the story work.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Irene P
  • 08-03-15

really interesting

really liked it. i am a fun of detective stories and found this a good "old school" story which kept me engaged and thinking. even guessing a good part of the truth before the end did not make it less interestinv for me.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 18-05-19

An unpredictable rollercoaster

Loved it. Perhaps not as much as devotion of Suspect X or salvation of a saint but still loved it. It was such a rollercoaster because everytime you thought you knew something, turned out you didn't.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Yoshay
  • 02-08-18

Average

Nothing like Devotion of Suspect X but listenable nonetheless. The characters were not as well crafted as in Devotion and the story while it had the twist that is Higashino's speciality, fell flat in the end. It is an average crime story. Nothing spectacular.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sarah S
  • 18-02-19

Dark, haunting, intricate

An intricate, brilliant story told in many voices by a superb storyteller.
There are lots of twists and turns in a mystery that, whilst solved by Inspector Kaga, has at centre something that can't be solved - the puzzle of human nature at its darkest.
Something different, something great. I'll be seeking out anything I can by Keigo Higashino.

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  • Rob Dove
  • 31-07-15

Best Higashino yet

If you could sum up Malice in three words, what would they be?

twisted logical thinking

What other book might you compare Malice to, and why?

I've read devotion to suspect x & salvation of a saint before this. In my opinion this is the best of the 3, I've enjoyed all of them but this one seems sharper to me & a bit different.

What does Jeff Woodman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Not alot but the narration was fine, I would prefer David Pittu who narrated the previous books .

Any additional comments?

If you liked Devotion of suspect x don't hesitate to get this

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  • elizabeth b.
  • 11-02-21

Brilliant

Now that’s a murder mystery. My only complaint is I was a bit confused with the Japanese names. Great narrator. Gentle voice. Oh yes I really loved that.

1 person found this helpful