Saturday, December 19, 2009

Crossfire, by Miyuki Miyabe

(hb; 1998, 2005: prequel to Shadow Family. Translated by Deborah Stuhr Iwabuchi and Anna Husson Isozaki)

From the inside flap:

"Young, pretty Junko Aoki has the extraordinary ability to start fires using just willpower. Furthermore, she believes it to be her duty to use her pyrokinetic powers to punish violent criminals who have evaded justice.

"A chance encounter one night sends Junko on a mission to rescue a young woman abducted by a vicious gang of youths. The trail of bodies she leaves across Tokyo attracts the attention of two very different groups: a secretive vigilante group that tries to recruit her, and the arson squad of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department.

"Hardly able to keep up with Junko's killing spree, Detective Chikako Ishizu finds herself drawn deeper into a case that defies belief.

"Although on opposite sides of the law, both Junko and Chikako are committed to fighting evil, and both find their deeply held beliefs challenged. While Junko is increasingly disturbed by the innocent lives lost in the crossfire, Chikako is gradually forced to accept the possible existence of paranormal powers."

Review:

Insightful police procedural, made memorable by intriguing story elements, deft writing, and complex, relatable characters.

Excellent, entertaining novel: worth your time.

Crossfire, along with another Miyabe novel (Hatobue-gusa), became the basis for a film, Pyrokinesis (aka Kurosufaia).

Pyrokinesis was released in Japan on June 10, 2000.

Akiko Yada played Junko Aoki. Kaori Momoi played "Chikako Ishizu, the Detective". Hideaki Ito played Tada Kazuki. Ryuuji Harada played Yasuaki Makihara. Masami Nagasawa played Kaori Kurata. Hisashi Yoshizawa (billed as Yû Yoshizawa) played Kouichi Kido. Hidenori Tokuyama played Masaki Kogure.

Shisuke Kaneko directed and co-scripted Pyrokinesis. Kota Yamada and Masahiro Yokotani also co-scripted.

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