Today dear reader I am on the blog tour for Fish Swimming In Dappled Sunlight (June 16 2022) By Riku Onda. A big thank you to the publishers Bitter Lemon Press for sending me a copy to read and review, always appreciated. Also to the wonderful Anne for the invite to take part in the tour, always a pleasure to work with.
Fish Swimming In Dappled Sunlight
Set in Tokyo over the course of one night, Aki and Hiro have decided to be together one last time in their shared flat before parting. Their relationship has broken down after a mountain trek during which their guide died inexplicably. Now each believes the other to be a murderer and is determined to extract a confession before the night is over. Who is the murderer and what really happened on the mountain? In the battle of wills between them, the chain of events leading up to this night are gradually revealed in a gripping psychological thriller that keeps the reader in suspense to the very end.
About The Author
Riku Onda, born in 1964, has been writing fiction since 1991 and has published prolifically since. She has won the Yoshikawa Eiji Prize for New Writers, the Japan Booksellers’ Award, the Yamamoto Shūgorō Prize and the Naoki Prize. Her work has been adapted for film and television.
Over the course of one night in Tokyo secrets and lies are slowly unravelled as Aki and Hiro spend one last night in their flat before going their separate ways in the morning. After going away together on a mountain trek their relationship fell apart after their guide died tragically. Both Aki and Hiro strongly believe that the other one is the murderer and are determined to get a confession before the end of the night. What really happened up on the mountain that lead to an innocent man’s death? Who can you trust?
The narrative follows both Aki and Hiro, told in first person, allowing the reader to see through their eyes, their version of events leading up to the guide’s unfortunate death. They both assume the other is the killer, latching onto the smallest of details to convince themselves to be true. They set traps and collect evidence while waiting for the other to confess. It’s an interesting concept to follow as both characters are adamant that they are innocent, so it must be the other. This makes them unreliable to the reader as they are unsure of who to trust leading them to feel similarly towards Aki and Hiro, one of them must have done it, but who? As the plot thickens, shocking and disturbing truths are uncovered that will leave your jaw hanging to the floor. I was flabbergasted dear reader. I did not see that coming.
Both characters tell themselves that they are ready for this, that the false peace they have managed to maintain is beginning to crack and they need answers before morning. Onda traps you with them, only when the truth is revealed are you allowed to walk free.
Aki and Hiro are fascinating characters to follow. When you learn the truth about these two you will question everything you have discovered. Aki feels like she is on quicksand and constantly on edge. She can’t help but be suspicious of Hiro and look for evidence. Hiro needs answers, he wants to find a satisfactory explanation for the guide’s death so he can file it away and be done with it.
As the evening begins the couple do their best to keep up appearances by making trivial conversation, eating dinner and drinking beer. They are waiting for the right moment to begin and the tension is suffocating. Onda masterfully creates an atmosphere where there is nowhere left to hide. The apartment is bare and open. Only a suitcase sits between them which they use as a makeshift table. Both characters are silently waiting to pounce, to catch the other of guard and strike. They need to talk about what really happened on the mountain so they can move on with their lives. You find yourself questioning everything they say, are they lying, telling the truth? More questions than answers fill your head as you become entangled in this web of deceit that will leave you on the edge of your seat.
I give Fish Swimming In Dappled Sunlight By Riku Onda a Four out of Five paw rating.
The paranoia and suspicion is thick throughout this book it will keep you in suspense from start to finish. You will find yourself doubting everything you thought you knew and suspecting everyone. I was on edge the whole time.
Don’t forget to follow the rest of the blog tour, dates below, enjoy!
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Thanks for the blog tour support x