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  • Published: 30 September 2012
  • ISBN: 9781448155613
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 416

People Who Eat Darkness

Love, Grief and a Journey into Japan’s Shadows

A deeply compelling and chilling journey into the dark side of Japan, centred on the tragic case of Lucie Blackman.

*** Richard Lloyd Parry is the Winner of the 2018 Rathbones Folio Prize ***

In the summer of 2000, Jane Steare received the phone call every mother dreads. Her daughter Lucie Blackman - tall, blonde, and twenty-one years old - had stepped into the vastness of a Tokyo summer and disappeared forever. That winter, her dismembered remains were found buried in a desolate seaside cave.

Her disappearance was mystifying. Had Lucie been abducted by a religious cult? Who was the mysterious man she had gone to meet? What did her work, as a 'hostess' in the notorious Roppongi district of Tokyo, really involve? And could Lucie's fate be linked to the disappearance of another girl some ten years earlier?

Over the course of a decade, Richard Lloyd Parry has travelled to four continents to interview those caught up in the story and been given unprecedented access to Lucie's bitterly divided family to reveal the astonishing truth about Lucie and her fate.

  • Published: 30 September 2012
  • ISBN: 9781448155613
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 416

About the author

Richard Lloyd Parry

Richard Lloyd Parry is Asia Editor of The Times. He was born in 1969 and was educated at Oxford. He has been visiting Asia for eighteen years and since 1995 has lived in Tokyo as a foreign correspondent, first for the Independent and now for The Times. He has reported from twenty-one countries and several wars, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Indonesia, East Timor, North Korea, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, Kosovo and Macedonia. His work has also appeared in the London Review of Books and the New York Times Magazine. He is the author of In The Time of Madness, an eyewitness account of the violence that interrupted in Indonesia in the 1990s, and People Who Eat Darkness: The Fate of Lucie Blackman.

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Praise for People Who Eat Darkness

A skilful, definitive history of one of the most notorious crimes of the past decade

Sunday Times

A skilful, definitive history of one of the most notorious crimes of the past decade

Sunday Times

A sobering affair... A true crime thriller, sensitively handled and unsparing in its quest for answers

Megan Walsh, The Times

An evenhanded investigation of a murder

New York Times

An extraordinary book, passionately and meticulously told... I read it with my breath held and found I couldn't relax, think or get on with my life until I'd finished it

Julie Myerson

An extraordinary, compulsive and brilliant book...very, very moving

David Peace

As mysterious as its title, this extraordinary true crime tale is up there with Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood

Toni & Guy Magazine (Spring 2012)

At the heart of this extraordinary and brilliant book about the search, and its aftermath, in 2000 for a 21 year old British girl, Lucie Blackman, who disappeared one summer in Tokyo, in one of the darkest stories I’ve ever read…a truly disturbing but fascinating read.I read it in one horrified gulp

Carla McKay, Daily Mail

Difficult to put down... impossible to forget

Minette Walters

Open-minded and sympathetic, despite being driven half mad by the case, Parry, former Asia correspondent for the Independent and The Times, is the best kind of narrator of a tale that isn't just a murder case but a book that sheds light on Japan, on families, on the media, and on the insidious effects of misogyny

Blake Morrison, Guardian

Parry shows a rare compassion and a refusal to judge

Jonathan Coe, Guardian, Books of the Year

Richard Lloyd Parry has produced a work not only of page-turning intensity but also of touching sensitivity and deep insight. That he could have created something almost noble from such base material is a minor miracle of literary alchemy. The book is brilliantly written

David Pilling, Financial Times

This is In Cold Blood for our times... Everyone who has ever loved someone and held that life dear should read this stunning book, and shiver

Chris Cleave

This is an extraordinary book which stands as far above the 'true crime' label as Paradise Lost does above the category 'verse'... No avenue is left unexplored, no thought is too oblique to be uttered, no psychological puzzle too disturbing to be investigated

Bel Mooney, Daily Mail