Book reviews

The Investigation is an epic and spellbinding book
The Investigation is an epic and spellbinding book

If you’re looking for something to read, one of these three books might appeal.

The Investigation - Jung-Myung Lee, Mantle, £16.99

A guard has been found dead, hanging from a beam, at Fukuoka Prison.

His name is Sugiyama Dozan, feared and despised by the prisoners.

His death is not considered a suicide but a murder; a steel stake had been stabbed into his heart and his lips sewn shut.

A poem found in his uniform pocket soon intrigues young guard Watanabe Yuichi, given the task of finding his murderer. An inmate soon confesses but Watanabe isn’t convinced.

It’s impossible not to be moved by this epic and spellbinding story.

Vanishing - Gerard Woodward, Picador, £16.99

The story of Kenneth Brill, an unsuccessful artist who towards the end of the Second World War, finds himself in a British prison charged with treason.

He’s been accused of concealing in his landscape paintings vital information about a new military aerodrome – Heathrow.

The rest of the book seeks to explain through his own eyes how he got here, and cleverly poses the question: Is he a spy or just a misunderstood artist? Intriguing and very readable.

Caffeinated - Murray Carpenter, £12.99

The story of the relationship with and dependency on the world’s most consumed natural and legal high.

Carpenter writes in a knowledgeable, yet non-judgmental manner, about the way this has come to dominate Western life.

His narrative takes us from the States to the streets of Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala and Antigua as he investigates the production, marketing and science of caffeine.

A thoroughly enjoyable and addictive read, much like its subject matter.