One of the most popular writers working in Japan today, Mariko Koike is a recognized master of detective fiction and horror writing. Known in particular for her hybrid works that blend these styles with elements of romance, The Graveyard Apartment is arguably Koike’s masterpiece. Originally published in Japan in 1986, Koike’s novel is the suspenseful tale of a young family that believes it has found the perfect home to grow into, only to realize that the apartment’s idyllic setting harbors the specter of evil and that longer they stay, the more trapped they become.
This tale of a young married couple who harbor a dark secret is packed with dread and terror, as they and their daughter move into a brand new apartment building built next to a graveyard. As strange and terrifying occurrences begin to pile up, people in the building start to move out one by one, until the young family is left alone with someone... or something... lurking in the basement. The psychological horror builds moment after moment, scene after scene, culminating with a conclusion that will make you think twice before ever going into a basement again. @goodreads
One day Teppei (father), Misao (mother), Tamao (daughter), Cookie (dog) and Pyoko (White Finch) move into an apartment by the graveyard. And that was the dumbest decision they ever made!
The story starts out slow for me, but after about 40% it takes off. There are little things in the beginning, stuff with the bird that pass and kept coming back and everyone being creeped out by the basement where the storage units were . . . and then . . . it all gets cray!
When these bizarre things start happening, Misao decides to investigate when she finds out some stories about the place. Apparently awhile back, they were making a tunnel underground to put shops and all kinds of stuff and this was going to run under the graveyard and stopping at the apartment complex. Central Plaza Mansion is what the apartments are called. Anyway, it never really says in the book but I think (and Misao) thinks since they didn't block up the tunnel/road, that the spirits were ticked off. I mean it makes sense to me.
They can see the graveyard from their windows and there is also a crematorium and some other building. These places belongs to an ancient Buddhist temple.
Anyway, there are 14 units in the mansion with 8 people living in the units, not counting the mansion keepers on the bottom floor. No, they are not creepy, they were a nice elderly couple.
Slowly everyone starts to move out. Then it's just Misao and her family and another family she became friends with and let their children play together. But toooooooooo many freaky deaky things started happening and that family left too. Even the elderly couple left and the Kano family were left there on their own. Oh they tried to get out but something kept happening to the places they were going to stay. It makes me wonder if the graveyard ghosts wanted them to stay there (because there were a lot of those) or if it was because of something else that happened in their past.
Either way, I enjoyed the book and the ending was just . . . yeah. I can't even say. If your looking for a nice scary book without all of the gruesomeness then this is the one.
*I would like to thank Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.*
AMAZON LINK TO THE BOOK: