** Silence Once Begun by Jesse Ball

Silence Once Begun is a cleverly constructed story of a Japanese man who has confessed in writing to have caused a series of disappearances, but won’t talk — at all — about them. Meanwhile his family mostly deserts him, except for his brother, and the real mastermind won’t be revealed until the very end. The story is told in a highly artificial series of interviews between the anonymous author and the protagonists, a device I did not care for. But the way the crime changes the way his family and friends treat the accused is beautifully chilling.


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