Melody
Currently, I am reading Tokyo (also titled "The Devil of Nanking" by the US publisher) and it has all the right elements of a great thriller novel. This book was being recommended to me by a colleague.

Grey is a British University student and she is obsessed with finding the truth of the 1937 Nanking massacre. She comes to Tokyo, after following the rumours that a film footage was shot during the massacre. No one knows about the film, and everyone is saying she has made it up in the first place. But she insists it isn’t all her assumptions, so she approaches a professor of sociology, Shi Chongming, whom she thinks he holds the key to the search, but he claims he knows nothing about it. Grey then accepts a job as a hostess at a nightclub, and there she meets an elderly ailing gangster, Fuyuki. It was said that he relies on a certain elixir for his continued health. Grey decides to bargain with the devil, knowing Shi Chongming wanted this elixir badly, for this is one power elixir that others want at any price, but he warns her that Fuyuki is not one people who can easily fool with.

The story switches between Grey’s 'adventure' in Tokyo and Shi Chongming’s diary leading to the Nanking massacre, but despite Hayder’s splitting the two events, it was still a good read and doesn’t affect the reading at all as she smoothly connects them to form the whole picture (or should I say story?). :-P

Hayder writes darker thrillers as compared to the others, and she is one author not to be missed in my opinion. I greatly recommend this book if you have the courage to follow this one ‘roller-coaster’ where it goes greater heights and steeper slopes.

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Afterthoughts

What can I say? The story really left a deep impression on me. This story is dark, and will lead you to think and/or explore one's soul. The massacres scenes are the most difficult to read, not because they are complex, but you can just imagine the horrors and the pains of the Chinese civilians where they will try every means to escape the Japanese soldiers during the World War II. Their methods of killing were cruel, and will leave your blood cold.

In the story, Shi Chongming wants to get hold of the elixir which rumors to promote longevity; while Grey will do anything just to get a glimpse of the film which Shi Chongming is holding. Both of them strike a deal, but never thought their lives will change after then when each begins to realize the truth behind their ignorance.

This story is haunting and beautifully written in my opinion. I look forward to reading more of Mo Hayder's books.
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