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

By Richard Lloyd Parry
Read by Simon Vance

13.13 Hours 07/16/2012 unabridged
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Lucie Blackman—tall, blond, twenty-one years old—stepped out into the vastness of Tokyo in the summer of 2000 and disappeared. The following winter, her dismembered remains were found buried in a seaside cave. The seven months in between had seen a massive search for the missing girl involving Japanese policemen, British private detectives, and Lucie’s desperate but bitterly divided parents. Had Lucie been abducted by a religious cult or snatched by human traffickers? Who was the mysterious man she had gone to meet? And what did her work as a hostess in the notorious Roppongi district of Tokyo really involve? Richard Lloyd Parry, an award-winning foreign correspondent, followed the case from the beginning. Over the course of a decade, as the rest of the world forgot but the trial dragged on, he traveled to four continents to interview those connected with the story, assiduously followed the court proceedings, and won unique access to the Japanese detectives who investigated the case. Ultimately he earned the respect of the victim’s family and delved deep into the mind and background 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.

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Summary

Summary

A 2012 Entertainment Weekly Best Book for Nonfiction

New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction, 2012

A New York Times bestseller

A New York Times Editor’s Choice

A 2013 Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominee for Best Fact Crime

A 2012 Time Magazine Top 10 Book for Nonfiction

An Amazon Top 100 Book of 2012

A 2012 Slate Magazine Best Book: Staff Pick

A 2012 Kansas City Star Top 100 Book for Nonfiction

A 2012 Publishers Weekly Top 10 Book for Nonfiction

A BookPage Book of the Day, June 2012

BuzzFeed Books Pick

Lucie Blackman—tall, blond, twenty-one years old—stepped out into the vastness of Tokyo in the summer of 2000 and disappeared. The following winter, her dismembered remains were found buried in a seaside cave. The seven months in between had seen a massive search for the missing girl involving Japanese policemen, British private detectives, and Lucie’s desperate but bitterly divided parents. Had Lucie been abducted by a religious cult or snatched by human traffickers? Who was the mysterious man she had gone to meet? And what did her work as a hostess in the notorious Roppongi district of Tokyo really involve?

Richard Lloyd Parry, an award-winning foreign correspondent, followed the case from the beginning. Over the course of a decade, as the rest of the world forgot but the trial dragged on, he traveled to four continents to interview those connected with the story, assiduously followed the court proceedings, and won unique access to the Japanese detectives who investigated the case. Ultimately he earned the respect of the victim’s family and delved deep into the mind and background 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.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Everyone who has ever loved someone and held that life dear should read this stunning book and shiver.” Chris Cleave, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“A searing exploration of evil and trauma and how both ultimately elude understanding or resolution.” New York Times Book Review
“[A] masterful literary true crime story, which earns its comparisons to Truman Capoteʼs In Cold Blood and Norman Mailerʼs The Executioner’s Song…Like the case of Etan Patz, the Lucie Blackman disappearance captured the public imagination. By writing about it in such culturally informed detail, Parry subtly encourages an understanding that goes past the headlines. It is a dark, unforgettable ride.” Los Angeles Times
“A big, ambitious true-crime book in the tradition of Norman Mailer’s The Executioner’s Song and Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. Esquire
London Times Asia editor and Tokyo bureau chief Parry…offers an exceptional—and terrifying—account of sexual sadism, the Japanese legal system, and a family ripped apart by tragedy…Parry discovered a side of Japan he hadn’t known; his Tokyo thrums with energy, and the long-dead Lucie haunts the page as her killer fills the reader’s consciousness with an undeniable sense of dread.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“This true crime tale reads like a novel, but few of its fictional counterparts have this much insight into murder cases and the psychology of the people involved…Parry’s prose is reminiscent of true crime greats Truman Capote and Vincent Bugliosi. This well-written story, likely to elicit tears and even nightmares from readers, is recommended for all who enjoy true crime, thrillers, and cross-cultural narratives.” Library Journal (starred review)
“Parry has a knack of tacitly cross-examining his readers…not implicating them exactly, but immersing them in a darkness that thickens as facts come to light…[He] skillfully manipulates the narrative to keep the reader in a state of awful uncertainty about what will happen next.” Observer (London)
“An utterly compelling read.” Mo Hayder, internationally bestselling author
“Extraordinary, compulsive, and brilliant.” David Peace, author of the Red Riding quartet and the Tokyo trilogy 
“For fans of true crime and slowly unfolding mysteries.” Kirkus Reviews
People Who Eat Darkness is the fascinating culmination of a decade of research, as well as a probing look into the depths of evil…Parry masterfully guides readers through a maze of red herrings and sinister subplots…It would be wrong to call this book ‘enjoyable.’ But it is both utterly engrossing and brilliantly crafted—a glimpse into the heart of darkness we hope never to know firsthand.” BookPage

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Richard Lloyd Parry

Richard Lloyd Parry is the Asia editor and Tokyo bureau chief of the London Times and the author of In the Time of Madness.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction
Runtime: 13.13
Audience: Adult
Language: English