Book Review: People who Eat Darkness

People Who Eat Darkness: The True Story of a Woman Who Vanished in the Streets of ImageTokyo –  and the Evil that Swallowed Her Up.
Richard Lloyd Parry
True Crime
Page Count: 454
Publisher: Fsg Books
Published: 2011

                Lucie Blackman- tall blond, twenty-one years old – stepped out into the vastness of Tokyo and disappeared forever. For months, the police’s only lead was a suspicious message left with Lucie’s best friend claiming she had joined a religious cult. The truth would prove much darker.
                Who was the mysterious man she had gone to meet? What exactly did Lucie do at her hostess job in the notorious Rappongi nightclub district? How many others had suffered – and will suffer – her same fate?
                Richard Lloyd Perry, an award winning foreign correspondent, covered Lucie’s case from the beginning. He tracked the story across four continents, earned the trust of her family and friends, won unique access to the Japanese detectives and legal system, and delved deep into the mind of the man accused in Lucie’s disappearance, Joji Obara – described by the judge as “unprecedented and extremely evil.”
                The result is a book at once thrilling and revelatory, “a big, ambitious true crime book in the tradition of Norman Mailers, ‘The Executioner’s Song’ and Truman capote’s in “Cold Blood”


                People who eat darkness is a well written true crime story about a young woman from England named Lucie Blackman who goes missing working as a Hostess at a club called ‘Casablanca’ in the Rappongi night club district in Japan.  There were many aspects in this story that were frankly bazar and disturbing, including the behaviour of the family members of Lucie Blackman when she went missing.
                Richard Lloyd Perry does a fantastic job describing the world in which Lucie was immersed into when she came to Tokyo, Japan. Japan has one of the most interesting and vibrant cultures that I’ve ever read about and it seems to me that unless you’re born and raised in Japan you’ll never completely understand them. There were a lot of interesting facts about Japan, like the conviction rate and the crime rate of Tokyo. You also learnt a lot about how their law system in particular how their police force’s politics worked. And you learned that ‘Western’ woman (and men probably) whom work in Rappongi (Not clear if it’s the same elsewhere) are not really treated with the correct amount of concern.
                There were some disturbing stories of woman complaining about the man that killed Lucie and no police officer ever looked into them, there was also one instance where they wrote some notes down on a scrap piece of paper, sent the woman away and never wrote a report or followed up with the information they had supplied. If they had looked into the issue more Lucie Blackman would have been saved from death and perhaps other woman from being hurt as well.
                Very well written for what it is, informative, grabs your attention and does not drag on or get boring.  It plays on your fears and shows some pictures of Lucie that leave you with a haunted feeling and a heavy weight in your gut. Everything is placed so strategically so you feel the whole impact of the terrible murder of Lucie Blackman. It was very sad, and despite knowing what was inevitably going to be written within the pages I was hoping that she’d turn out to be alive in the end.
                If you like to read true crime I would recommend People who Ate Darkness.


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