People Who Eat Darkness: The True Story of a Young Woman Who Vanished from the Streets of Tokyo--and the Evil That Swallowed Her Up

Richard Lloyd Parry
Lucie Blackman—tall, blond, twenty-one years old—stepped out into the vastness of Tokyo in the summer of 2000, and disappeared forever. The following winter, her dismembered remains were found buried in a seaside cave.  Richard Lloyd Parry, an award-winning foreign correspondent, covered Lucie’s disappearance and followed the massive search for her, the long investigation, and the even longer trial. Over ten years, he earned the trust of her family and friends, won unique access to the Japanese detectives and Japan’s convoluted legal system, and delved deep into the mind of the man accused of the crime, Joji Obara, described by the judge as “unprecedented and extremely evil.” The result is a book at once thrilling and revelatory, “In Cold Blood for our times” (Chris Cleave, author of Incendiary and Little Bee). The People Who Eat Darkness is one of Publishers Weekly's Top 10 Best Books of 2012

Reviews

Reviewed: 2018-02-24
Visiting Japan Well, this book was just a ray of gloom and doom. 
 
Basic synopsis: Lucie Blackman was a British gal who went to Japan with her best friend to serve as hostess. Being paid to drink and make small talk seemed like an easy way to make good money to pay off debts. Instead, she instead ran into a serial rapist who ended up killing her. 
 
I can't imagine being thousands of miles away from a loved one who is missing. Trying to figure out the Japanese criminal justice, culture, and media must have been daunting. As more details were revealed, the main suspect was revealed to be a man who worked hard to hide details of life.
 
The mystery of who the killer really is really makes this disconcerting. While we know a lot of his alias, and the name he used most often-Joji Obara-and the name he was born with-there still feels like we're missing something. He doesn't reveal himself to anyone and details of his life is hard to come by.
 
The only thing he reveals are in the mass amounts of diaries, journals, lists and videotape evidence found in his multiple residences. This is why he was convicted of so many rape charges-he kept the evidence. I was really surprised in some ways that he hadn't escalated to serial killer, however he found a way to commit the crimes without anyone knowing while preying on the marginalized. Great reminder about how these guys think-it's not always about getting caught but about satisfying their need without the cops knowing. 
 
The Japanese police are set up as sort of incompetent in the book. I think that they were just woefully unequipped to handle the level of sociopath that Obara presented. As someone who doesn't know anything about Japanese criminal justice system, the look at a totally different system was interesting. The fact they have court once a month was totally odd to the American way of doing things. 
 
If you like true crime, then yes pick this book up. It's one of the books I'm going to be thinking about for a some time to come.
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