The Thief by Fuminori Nakamura

The Thief - book cover

A pickpocket’s life is laid bare…
…he might find his life is not his own.

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Joining in the ‘big boy’s’ game

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It takes one to know one. On the streets and in the shops a young boy is stealing food. One way of holding back hunger – but not to be advised when Nishimura can see that the store detective has him under watch. Maybe this is going to be his way of putting something back – helping someone, helping them avoid the path in life he has chosen. The boy’s mother makes her living on the streets, and between the sheets, so in her world there is no such thing as a free lunch. She offers to pay for his help with the only currency she believes men understand.

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On his own account, Nishimura has been noticed by Kizaki; a gangster whose mantra is that he ‘appreciates everything life has to offer.’ He has a special assignment for Ishikawa and that’s the task he wants Nishimura to be part of. They are driven to a house, have a job to do…and only later does the full enormity of what happened register. Working for Kizaki, according to his rules, is no bed of roses. Too much at stake and a serious price to pay for stepping up into the first division of villainy. Ishikawa could wish he had stayed in the Philippines, or Pakistan or Kenya. Nishimura, with his own assignments for Kizaki, could have wished he had too.