Nozaki and his male friends play an otome game (and get pretty into it) because Ken, Nozaki's favorite editor, offers it to him and Nozaki desperately wants to be friends with him. Readers get to meet Nozaki's good-looking but lazy younger brother, see how his parents reacted when he decided to move out for his own convenience, etc. The joke about Wakamatsu loving Lorelei (who he's never met) and being aggravated by Seo (who he doesn't realize is Lorelei) continues. Nozaki uses Mikoshiba and Sakura to test out a manga idea about meeting up and using cellphones as little as possible, and there's a joke about Nozaki trying to learn to do backgrounds. He can't seem to
get characters' heights right, so he keeps having to put them on boxes.
I recalled previous volumes being better, but that might just have been comedy burnout. Still, there were good bits. I laughed at the parts with Nozaki's brother, who Miyako liked to draw without his shirt on. I also enjoyed the bit about Ken trying to win Nozaki over when he first became Nozaki's editor (Nozaki expected Ken to be like his previous editor, the one who now forces Miyako to put tanuki in all her manga). The only thing Ken had to do was
know the names of five characters in Nozaki's manga, which underscores just how bad his previous editor was.
As far as manga creation goes, Hori really comes across as a more serious manga creator than Nozaki. In his volume he kept stopping to take reference photos for his background work, whereas Nozaki couldn't seem to get the hang of doing his own backgrounds.
Oh, and I enjoyed the otome game bit, especially since I've played so many visual novels in the past year. This particular otome game was bizarre. The most normal seeming guy in the game turned out to
secretly be Satan.
(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)
A ghost from the past is back...The killer they've dubbed "The Groom" nine years ago, is back in New York, and his first victim has been found just as the previous ones; her body posed, showing signs of severe torture, a silver ring on her third finger.
But there's something chillingly new in his MO this time around—a connection to Roarke. The victim worked for one of his companies, she was washed with products from a store he owns, and she was laid on a cotton sheet one of his companies manufactures. In lieu of all of it, Lieutenant Eve Dallas pulls her husband deep into the investigation...Only to discover "The Groom" has decided to make things very personal since the connection between Roarke and "The Groom"'s last intended victim is personal indeed.
Words cannot describe how much I loved and enjoyed this book. The twists and turns, the game of cat and mouse, the leads and false ends, and in the end the very personal connection the killer had chosen to make.
What made this one stand out of the more-or-less always outstanding installments in this series, was the fact Roarke was so deeply involved with the investigation from the start. It's always a pleasure reading about his help and input, but this time he was in the thick of it, right there in the war room with the rest of the task force, and the reader got to really see all the steps through his eyes.
Also, to me, this story carried a sense of urgency that wasn't as pronounced in the previous books. Time was literally running out on "The Groom"'s victims, and on the investigation itself, and the pacing, flow of the story, and even the narrative style echoed that inevitability and urgency. Everything happened in the span of maybe two days, yet the time-span seemed longer, conveying that sense of frustration, dread and fatigue everybody on such a task force must feel, until the reader feels like he/she is a part of the story, and as drained as its characters.
I loved the glimpses into the killer's sick mind, I loved the interactions between various characters, the altercation between Eve and Feeney provided that extra nugget of realism, and the story itself was engrossing, intense, and gripping.
A truly awesome story.