Item description for Crossfire by Deborah Iwabuchi Miyuki Miyabe...
A harrowing tale of murder and retribution. Young, pretty Junko Aoki has an extraordinary ability-she can start fires through sheer force of will. When she begins using her gift of pyrokinesis to take the law into her own hands and punish violent criminals, her executions attract the attention of two very different groups: the Guardians, a secretive vigilante organization that tries to recruit her, and the arson squad of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department. Soon the police are on Junko's trail, most notably Detective Chikako Ishizu, a rationalist who must come to terms with the existence of paranormal forces. As Junko's crusade against evil escalates and she finds it harder to control her power, we are taken on a breathtaking and brutal journey through the urban landscape of Tokyo on a journey that challenges us, along with Chikako, to think about what's right and what's wrong in the name of justice. Atmospheric, suspenseful, provocative, and even romantic, Crossfire is a tour de force sure to secure Miyuki Miyabe's place in the pantheon of today's top mystery writers.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.98" Width: 6.22" Height: 1.18" Weight: 1.63 lbs.
Release Date Feb 1, 2006
Publisher Kodansha International
ISBN 4770029934 ISBN13 9784770029935
Reviews - What do customers think about Crossfire?
an engrossing read Apr 27, 2008
this book was very enjoyable to read. it was not the best book i have ever read, but it was a pleasure nonetheless. and although it says it is a mystery novel, it is not. you will see why when you read it.
Neither Science Fiction Nor Mystery Dec 23, 2007
I enjoyed reading "All She was Worth " by Miyuki Miyabe. That is why I was so disappointed in reading "Crossfire" by the same author. To enjoy the book you need to believe that someone has the power to set fire to other people spontaneously. In this the author was totally unconvincing. Also the reason for the main character's actions are never very clear. I found the reading slow going, the story anything but satisfying and recommend not reading the book, but instead concentrating on Miyabe's other work like "all She Was Worth" and "Shadow Family."
A spectacular read from a young sensation from Japan and one that American readers will love. Dec 2, 2007
Miyuki Miyabe began her professional career in a law office, but soon turned to full-time writing. She has published three prior novels to CROSSFIRE and has been awarded numerous literary accolades. She is considered to be Japan's number one mystery writer.
CROSSFIRE merges the mystery world and more than a bit of the supernatural. Miyabe's heroine, Chikako Ishizu, a veteran police woman who has to constantly fight male attitudes, is pushed into a series of arson/murders. No one can figure out who, or even what, started the fires. Chikako meets the talented and morose Detective Makihara, a man who has devoted his life to the idea of pyrokinesis after he sees his younger step-brother go up in flames before his very eyes many years before. Makihara introduces the idea of a human born with the ability to consciously start fires to Chikako's skeptical reaction:
"'The ability to start fires using willpower,' Makihara said, his light-colored eyes fixed on Chikako. 'That is the theory I gave the investigation team for the Arakawa incident. I told them they should deepen their knowledge of pyrokinesis in order to proceed with their investigation.' He laughed again in a mischievous way. 'That must make me sound pretty eccentric to you, doesn't it?'"
What makes Miyuki Miyabe's writing so profoundly intoxicating is not just her excellent plotting and characterizations (which are compelling). It is the ideas that she presents in her writing. She forces the reader to face some very tough questions about personal ethics; love; and what loneliness contributes to the human condition. The very lovely Junko Aoki is one of two haunted characters born with the unfortunately ability to start fires. What does a person do with that kind of ability? Can she use it for the good of mankind? How does she deal with people who would use her and her powers for their own ends? How will mankind react?
CROSSFIRE is a tragic story of love; a constant reminder of how making decisions about right and wrong can tear people apart; and is just a wonderful read. It's a "can't put it down once you start reading" book, and immediately the reader wants more of what this author has to offer. A spectacular read from a young sensation from Japan and one that American readers will love.
Shelley Glodowski Senior Reviewer
"Firestarter"--Japanese style Aug 13, 2006
Maybe more like 3.5 stars. Junko Aoki is a lonely young woman who uses her pyrokinetic abilities to avenge the victims of violent crime. A chance encounter with a gang of teenage psychopaths leads her on a personal crusade that brings her to the attention of the police and a secret vigilante organization called the Guardians.
Despite the cliched premise, this novel maintains interest, even though it felt a bit too long. Author Miyuki Miyabe presents interesting characters and some effective surprises. Her sure style of pacing and plotting derails a bit at the finale, which depends on a rather large coincidence. The translation was also a bit awkward at times, but I intend to read more from this author.
Psycho killers vs. Psychic killers Jun 27, 2006
Although being marketed as a mystery/police writer in the US, in her native Japan Miyuki Miyabe is a master of all genres. Science fiction, social commentary, juvenile fiction, mystery fiction...there are very few arenas where she has not sown her considerable talent. This third book to get an English translation is quite a departure from the reality-based "All She Was Worth" and "Shadow Family," entering a world of super-powered assassins and powerful conspiracy organizations.
"Crossfire" follows the lives of two very different women. Junko Aoki is a young and beautiful pyrokinetic, capable of unleashing devastating heat-based attacks using only her mind. She is a warrior in a personal war, seeing herself as a weapon, a scourge against the inhuman crime that she sees day to day in modern Japan. Chikako Ishizu is a middle aged detective in the arson department, an unexceptional woman of average abilities who owes her position to a political maneuver placing more women in detective positions. There paths merge when Chikako investigates a murder, the victim burned alive in an impossible manner. Her investigation forces her to leave her accepted reality, and enter a shadow world she never new existed. Behind it all, manipulating circumstances, is a group called The Guardians, a powerful group dedicated to delivering justice when the courts have failed.
Regardless of the genre, Miyabe's strength is her characters, specifically her women characters who come alive and bring an honesty to incredible circumstances. She doesn't force relationships, love stories, or anything else that would interfere with the main plot. Chikako is a married woman, with children, muddling her way through a murky world the best she can, well aware of the power that others wield over her and the directions she is being pushed. Junko is cold, having sealed away her emotions in order to control her explosive power. They could not be more different, but Miyabe maintains the appropriate tones as she switches between the characters.
While not a masterpiece like "All She Was Worth," "Crossfire" is a great read, fast paced and with plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader's blood pumping. Its great to be able to sample some of Miyabe's more fantastical adventures, and I hope that future translations allow for a fuller scope of her talent.