A chilling Japanese psychological thriller and Edgar Award finalist about four women, forever connected by one horrible day in their childhood — fifteen years later, someone wants to make sure they never forget.
When they were girls, Sae, Maki, Akiko and Yuko were tricked into leaving their friend Emily with a mysterious stranger. Then the unthinkable occurred: Emily was found murdered hours later.
The four friends were never able to describe the stranger to the police; the killer’s trail went cold. Asako, the bereaved mother, curses the surviving girls, vowing that they will be the ones to pay for her daughter’s murder . . .
Like Confessions, Kanae Minato’s award-winning, internationally bestselling debut, Penance is a dark tale of revenge and psychological drama that will leave readers breathless.
"With echoes of fairy tales and a Rashomon-like narrative structure, Minato's Penance is as ethereal and literary as it is a sharp, tight crime novel."—Literary Hub
"[A] suspenseful psychological melodrama. . . . Filled with strange entwinings of chance and effect, free will and manipulation, the mundane and the bizarre."
—The Wall Street Journal
"Minato writes character driven mystery/crime novels that take deep dives into people's psychology-especially girls and women-with an unflinching look at the dark side of humans. I will read any novel she writes."
"Minato's simple, clear voice highlights the stories' psychological intensity, and themes of powerlessness evolving to strength, duty, and redemption create layers of interest that are perfect for book-group dissection."
—Booklist (starred review)
"Moving, tension-filled . . . Minato has crafted an unnerving tale of tragedy, guilt, and penance."
"Kanae Minato is a brilliant storyteller."
—Emily St. John Mandel, New York Times bestselling author of Station Eleven