Out, Natsuo Kirino

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Masako is the first one who arrives at the factory for the night shift. When she is still locking the car door, Kumiko just arrived with her green Volkswagen Golf. It reminds her of the rumor and other sources of Kumiko's debt.

Later comes Yoshie, a widow in her late fifties and also the fastest worker on the line. They exchanged a few conversations until they arrived at the lounge where they see another co-worker, Yayoi. She's the prettiest on the night shift which makes her an easy target to be bullied by other women in the factory. She also had a fight with her husband who she suspects he is having a gambling problem.

At this point, the story focuses on their routine work in the factory but later shifted to Kumiko's life. She lives in an old apartment with her sleazy partner. She's looking for another job to cover her heavy debts.

Yoshie comes home and the house is so small to fit three of them. The landlord wants to tear down the wooden house and build a new apartment. She's struggling with money if they need to move somewhere. There are not much left from the insurance payment after her husband passed away and she determines to send her daughter to college. She needs to find another job as well but this means she needs to find someone to look after her mother-in-law.

The story shifts to Satake who owns a club, Mika. He talks to his manager regarding a creepy customer complained by his hostess which starts stalking the hostess and delaying his payments. This customer also intends to borrow money from the house when he lost a lot of money from the underground casino. This troublesome customer deserves a conversation from him but leads to a fight outside of his club which he doesn't want to happen to avoid scaring his customers.

Meanwhile, Yayoi suffering on her own bruises and accompanied with the memories of her youth and the happiness that she recalled before the marriage. When she is leaving the house for work, her husband Kenji just arrived home with a cut on his lip. When Kenji starts to question her, she loses her temper and murders him.

She asked Masako for help. This leads the story to focus on Masako's lonely life with her estranged husband and her teenage son who isolated himself in his own world.

One murderer but ends up with additional three accomplices.

Somehow, the story is very realistic to the point that the author seems has experience dealing with a dead body. Of course, I believe she doesn't have the expertise in that area but her storytelling skill is superb and detailed enough for us to picture them.

There were so many different names in this story. I suggest it will be better if you can make a short note for each person because each of them has so much of stories of their life and their past. You can easily get confused with the names and before you can recall who is who, there comes another new character.

Rating: ★★★★★
More reviews can be found on Goodreads: Out.

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