The Decagon House Murders, Volume 1 – Book Review

Thank you to Kodansha Comics for the copy of this Manga in return for an honest review

The new manga adaptation of the classic mystery novel by Yukito Ayatsuji came out this week and I was very excited to read this one, based purely on the cover. I have to admit that I haven’t read the original novel, although after reading the first volume of this I will be, as soon as possible.

Seven students, who are also members of their university’s mystery club, travel to an island where six months before there was a brutal series of murders. The morning after they all arrive they start to suspect that they can’t trust each other. Meanwhile back on the mainland, a former member of the club, Kawaminami, receives a letter from one of the people who was murdered on the island. She sets out to solve the mystery of the letter and the murder.

I really enjoyed this manga. It almost feels like a 1980s slasher film when they set out to the island at the beginning. It’s very reminiscent of the opening to April Fool’s Day, with a bunch of characters travelling to a remote location for a small vacation. You know that something bad is going to happen even before anything does, purely because of the set up. It works really well and kept me reading from page to page.

The other side of this is the detective story, which I was gripped by instantly. It’s intriguing and you feel like you can work it out with them. I figured out one of the twists early on and I have some suspicions about what’s coming in future volume. It mentions it in the book and it does have an Agatha Christie vibe about it. (Which is strange because all of the characters are given nick names after famous mystery writers and on a page that gives a summary of the writers, Agatha’s dates are wrong. The book says she died in 1939, which is about 40 years too soon)

I do think the pacing is a little off with this one. At first it feels like it is going to fast without letting you have time to settle. Once you get past the opening chapter and the story switches to the mainland it does slow down. By the end of the book the pacing is right where it needs to be.

Oh and that ending. I already knew I was going to be reading volume 2 by the time I was halfway through it, but those final pages – I need volume 2 now!

Thanks for reading and until next time,

Ashley

About ashleymanningwriter

Young Adult Fiction writer. Horror and fantasy blended together.
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