it's said to be a writer, you're far better off working three years as a bar hostess than getting an MFA. possibly Mo Hayder understood this; as the author's blurb mentions, she left school at fifteen and has since seen success conquering the world of publishing. her books are shilled at petrol stations; she has Times and Daily News and Independent reviews practically breathless in their praise.
Hayder writes a book with feeling and a good attempt at "the thriller," but ultimately falling short of true literary significance or even the absolute mastery of the big names in the field. this feels like a "work in training;" where Hayder is attempting to feel out her new career as a paperback writer, but not really taking things to the full limit or making a strong and lasting impact. the work is not absolute unreadable, but Hayder fails to complete such basic tasks as-- why would the young british female narrator be obsessed with unearthing the truth about Nanking?
for the absolute fanatic "books set in Tokyo" reader, may be an entertaining diversion. but line, paragraph, and book are all weak, and so is the ending. kudos to Ms. Hayder for her success despite lack of a formal education, but this seems to be a masterpiece of marketing rather than a masterpiece of writing.