Cage has a very interesting cover, and I have to admit that the reason I picked the book up because if the cover 🙂

The book is not amazing but it’s not bad either. I like how it evolved in every page. It starts in A and finish in Z…well at least that’s how I see it.

The story
Kazuya Takino used to be a gang member, but when his trusted ‘brother’, Sakurai, died he decided to do what Sakurai wanted him to do…live clean. After marrying a wonderful woman named Yukie, he started his own supermarket. After 5 years of living clean, something drawn him back to the world he once left behind.

There was a big competition amongst 2 biggest supermarkets, one of that supermarkets wanted to buy Takino’s property. When he refused, their people started harassing him. Takino took care of the harassment by himself. His way led him to a deeper matter.

He met his ex-‘brother’, Takayasu, and wanted to help him smuggled a couple who were being chased by  Maruwa Gang. This incident led to a drastic change in Takino’s life.

Meanwhile, on the other side, Detective Takagi was asked to track down the man who was going to be smuggled by Takino and to investigate the Maruwa Gang it self. Somehow, Takino and Takagi met in the middle. Takagi recognized Takino as someone who was caged inside his normal live.

The story evolved to something deeper. From the life of a clean man to a grudge over Maruwa gang.

I really like this book, especially when it evolved to something I didn’t imagine when I started reading the book. And you can’t help for liking Takino, his aura and charisma is so strong. I like him from the moment I read about his history.  I am not surprise to know that Akemi can’t life without Takino. He is a good bad man.

The other thing that I like so much about this book is the friendships that strongly build amongst Takino and Takayasu…tho they have been separated for some years but brotherhood is stronger than anything. I also like how Takino made everyone around him willingly helping him to do things.

Unfortunately, I find my self unable to be attracted to Takagi…and sometimes I skipped reading his boring parts. The famous detective loses in the battle of charisma to Takino.

Overall, I gave this book 3,5 stars out 5, this is the kind of book that I like but I won’t find my self re-reading it.

About the Author:

Kenzo Kitakata is the undisputed don of hardboiled and mystery writing in Japan, where he has received numerous literary awards. The Cage won The Japan Mystery Writers Association Award and is his third novel to appear in English. His American debut Ashes was one of Las Vegas Mercury’s 10 Best Novels of 2003, a Book Sense Selection, and a Village Voice Summer Read.


I’m using this review for my Thriller and Suspense Reading Challenge 2010, 2010 Support Your Library Reading challenge and New Author 2010


  1. Meanwhile, one the other side, Detective Takagi was asked to tracked down the man….
    was asked to track down maksudnya ya….
    belagu bgt gue pake koreksi segala…ha ha ha
    sori bermaksud kritik..cuma gue lagi belajar juga..jangan marah ya…

    anyway, i like your blog!

  2. I liked this book also-I think I would give it 3 of five stars-I was kind of disappointed in that I would have liked to learn more about organized crime in Japan than we did from this book-I found your blog via the Japanese Challenge 4 and I am now a follower-

    1. Thank you for sharing your thought Mel U … If I’m not mistaken, Shadow Family by Miyuki Miyabe is about the family life of organized crime, but I’m not 100% sure…it’ll be in my list for J-Lit4.

      I found this amazing challenge (which is not a challenge at all for me) last year. And I’ve been waiting for this to start again…it’ll be another fun year 🙂

      I’m going to add you on my Link, I’ll be checking on your books once in a while 😉

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