Booktalk: Discussion on Six Four

Hello, bookworms!
I am so glad you enjoyed the discussion post on Coraline and here’s another one for y’all!
Earlier this month, I buddy read Six Four with Naty@Naty’s Bookshelf and once again, we both had so much fun and a lot of a-ha moments during our discussion that helped us form our opinions and thoughts for our reviews.

Today, I’d like to share our discussion on the book, but please do note that they do contain some spoilers and you might want to use caution if you’re going to read this post!

Without further ado, here’s our discussion on Six Four!

Noriko: All right, now that we both finished reading… let’s talk about Six Four!
First and foremost and to be perfectly honest, I am not quite sure if I got everything right, there’s just too much to absorb and process though… lol
What did you think?

Naty: It was a LOT of information, I agree. I felt as if, although it was a big book, it’s better to read it fast, or it’s easy to get lost…
I was a bit disappointed that they didn’t find their daughter, though. I understand why the author would choose to do that, but still.
How about you?

Noriko: Yes, I totally agree on this book needing to be read fast before we get lost or forget the plot.
That said though, what really confused me is Mikami’s inner/emotional conflicts and his speculations that take place quite often.

I know it’s from his nature as a detective, but he does speculate a lot as though he couldn’t leave anything unsolved. He constantly, always seeks for an answer to everything. As the plot delves into the organizational conspiracy and power game between Tokyo HQ and Criminal Investigation or… Prefectural branch? (I already forgot), I was like, “Gee, I seem to have gotten lost here, what does he mean?”

My Japanese friend who read the original actually said the same thing so even with the original, written in our mother tongue, she had to take time to digest and process the information on what she’d just read.
But overall, I think it was a great crime mystery book.

Naty: I see 🙂
I agree, it was a great mystery book!
I thought it’d be a thriller, but it’s more of a psychological thriller.

And yes, Mikami’s internal monologue got me so confused at times. He would try and do his job but his emotions were very conflicted. I also felt sorry for his wife, especially when he said his work always came first. He (and everyone on this book, really) were such workaholics!
And the scenes with the reporters got me so on edge!!

Noriko: I know! That scene!! That really got my blood boiled!!! And it was so intense!
It’s amazing that his writing possesses so much punch despite the overall tone being relatively calm, totally devoid of over-dramatization.

Naty: Yes! He describes things so “dispassionately” and yet the scenes are so intense.
And how quickly things change! One day the press were kind and said they wanted him to stay as press director, then the next they wanted their head!!

Noriko: Whoa, you put it perfectly! “dispassionately”… that’s exactly it!
And yes, so true! They change their attitude like the wind changes its course!
It added so much to the tension, I think!

Plot-wise, I thought the special operation regarding another kid-napping was really intense and strong… and I thought that was the moment that made Mikami resolve which side he’ll stand.
Quite a monumental scene, in my opinion.

All the more reason why it was a bit disappointing that his daughter’s missing case didn’t get resolved… the author might make it a closure both to Minako and Mikami, but for me, I can never wrap my head around how parents can say it’s okay that their kids go missing as long as she/he is in safe hands.

Naty: Yes, I couldn’t relate to their acceptance either. I honestly think she probably died and hasn’t been found yet. The likelihood that someone befriended her and she’s fine is just so small.

Noriko: I totally agree with you!! It is quite unlikely that she has friends, don’t you think?

What other thoughts do you have on this book?
As for me, I think I’ll have a hell of a time writing a review for this one… I’m still not be able to sort out my thoughts as a matter of fact…
It’s okay to chat about this book yet writing a coherent review is totally a different story lol

Naty: True!!
Generally I spent way too much time waiting for it to become a regular thriller, so it took me a while to really get into the story and understand it’s a political crime thriller instead. But once I understood there, I actually enjoyed it!

But I think it’s a difficult book to recommend to people… at least I can’t picture most of my friends reading it.
And I thought the book could get too verbose sometimes, and the internal monologue from Mikami was quite confusing at times. But generally, I liked the narration style!

Noriko: I know what you mean… I never thought it would be that political, I was feeling a bit over my head, in fact!
Plus, I’m afraid this book comes across quite complex (especially when the feud intensifies and become territorial) for those who don’t know much about Japanese police organization as well as the relationship between the police and the press.

And yes!!! exactly! Mikami’s monologue really did me in lol

Naty: Yes, I think it might be too “cerebral” for people who just wanted to pick up a crime thriller. I have some random sentences on my review for the book, but no idea how to make a review out of that!! XD

Noriko: Lol

Naty: I really liked the part where Mikami was in the car and every 20min gave updates about the kidnapping to his team.
But I kept wondering… how do they handle that normally??

Noriko: Oh, yes!! That scene got me so thrilled to read!

Naty: Who has the time to go on a chase and give live updates to the press?

Noriko: I thought that totally makes sense. The police certainly wouldn’t want the press hovering around and intervening.
Their overstepping their authority could wreak havoc with the investigation!

Regarding how they handle it normally… I have no idea. But I assume a certain level of time-lapse might be implemented for the same reason.
My opinion might go against the spirit of free press and transparency, but the press could brandish their rights and do something they shouldn’t do.

Naty: Yes, I agree with you completely.
But still sounds stressful and potentially confusing. Imagine being highly concentrated on a life-or-death situation and then having to remember to give the info to the press as well…

Noriko: Uh, yes lol
That could be confusing… certainly uses a huge chunk of your brain power!
The information would keep coming in, but you were not allowed to immediately release it to the press…

Naty: Yes! Very stressful.

Noriko: You also need to constantly keep time for each information, when it’s to be released or something like that.
You’ve made a good point, Naty!

But at the same time, that condition imposed on Mikami made him resolve on which side he’ll be in the police…Whether to pursuit the truth as a detective, or fulfill his responsibility as press director
I thought the execution was amazing

Naty: True.
I don’t know what I would have done in his position!

Noriko: As one of the negatives, I thought Ayumi’s episode was a bit underdeveloped. We got to know she’s suffering from a mental disorder, but I would have liked it a bit more developed and gave us more reasons why she decided to run away.

Naty: I think Mikami himself didn’t know his daughter so well, which is why the scenes with her are so few and a bit frustrating.

Noriko: Oh, I see!!! Naty, you’ve just given me a perfect explanation!
You are amazing!!

Naty: Was it different for you reading a translation of a Japanese book? Do you think you’d have liked it more/less if you read it in Japanese?

Noriko: Well… I haven’t read the Japanese edition which is the original yet so I cannot say much, but if I read this book in Japanese, I think I would certainly be able to understand this book better… because it’s my mother tongue lol

That said though, I also expect Mikami’s speculations and reflections to be as confusing even in Japanese because it comes on a minute basis.
Like, one minute he thinks this way and the next minute he thinks that way… thing like that.

Naty: Yes, true!

Noriko: I found the writing style is quite unique… although it was narrated in the third person, from omnipotent perspective but the narration heavily focuses on Mikami’s thoughts.

Naty: Definitely. I thought it was definitely well-written.
I wonder how the author even comes up with a story like that… so complex and multi-faceted.

Noriko: I know! Multi-layered and quite complex.
You never know what would happen next.

Naty: I was just a bit frustrated also that in the end we all know who the kidnapper was but we don’t get to see him confess, get his reasons, know if he regrets etc… or see him go to jail!

Noriko: Exactly!!
We would certainly want to see justice prevails!

Naty: We get so involved since the beginning with this kidnapping and we never get to REALLY see its closure!

Noriko: But come to think of it, given how heavily this story focuses on Mikami, his interest has always been Six Four case and Ayumi, so once he realized this kidnapping was irrelevant to Six Four case, it didn’t mean much to him??

Naty: Maybe! That does make a lot of sense!
I think talking with you is already helping me form a review in my mind… maybe I can actually write something xD

Noriko: Same here! Talking with you made me notice the point that I had never come up with on my own. Really great to chat with you, Naty! I’m not quite sure if I get to write a review though… XD

There you have it; this concludes our discussions on Six Four. I hope you enjoyed our discussion and found something you can relate to!

If you have read the book already, feel free to comment below and let us know your thoughts!

Thanks for dropping by for our book discussion post. I’ll see you in my next post!

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8 thoughts on “Booktalk: Discussion on Six Four

  1. Yay! Thank you for posting this and thank you so much for discussing this book with me! It was very cool to have you as a book reading partner 🙂 🙂 I hope we do this again sometime soon!

    Liked by 1 person

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