What happens when you cross the line...
...when you discover a taste for the unthinkable?
Could you be drawn into a murder?
For a way out of your dreary existence?
In Out, we take a step back from the rosy pictures painted of Japan particularly those of kawaii teenagers/adults with hillarious love stories we always see in Japanese dramas, and we find ourselves thrown into a creepy world of violence and seedy subculture of lower middle class Japanese workers, faraway from the lights and glitter of glamorous Tokyo.
4 women, co-workers working punishing graveyard shifts at a box lunch factory in the outskirts of Tokyo, formed an unlikely bond, each having her own form of desperation, be it inattentive husband, unresponsive children, strained economic situations, or emotional loneliness. When one of the women, Yayoi Yamamoto, killed her abusive, gambling husband, the four came together to perform a gruesome act in a bid to dispose the body while attracting the least attention possible - dismemberment.
A series of indiscretions and careless mistakes led to the body parts being discovered. However, the police is not the only thing they have to worry about as more unforeseen dangers await, in the form of a revengeful, ruthless nightclub owner, whose life had been brought to shambles when he became the prime suspect in the murder investigation, and a yakuza (japanese underworld)-connected loan shark who discovered their secret and is determine to make something out of it.
A well-written book by Natsuo Kirino with realistic characters and interactions, albeit a dark and disturbing one that gives us a glimpse into the back alleys of Japanese life. Guess not everyday is a sunny, beautiful rainbow day in the Land of the Rising Sun...
Also, the writing sets the pace for a thrilling, energetic page turner. Believe it, I finished the book still on the treadmill but not in one session of course, seeing that it is a 500+ page novel. Even if my mind could take it, my legs definitely wouldn't!