Shadow Family is a compelling murder mystery focusing on the murky world of Internet chat room populated by people from all walks of life attracted by the possibility of being whoever they want to be.
Police investigating the double murder of a middle-aged salary man and his college-aged girlfriend discover email correspondence linking the victim with members of an online fantasy family, in which he plays the part of ˝Dad.˝ Meanwhile, his real-life teenage daughter is assigned police protection after complaining of being stalked. The investigation focuses increasingly on the Shadow family, as there is evidence that the member emerged from the chat room and started meeting up offline.
Veteran Desk Sergeant Takegami finds himself unexpectedly in center stage of the investigation after his colleague is hospitalized. Adding to his surprise, he is partnered with his old friend Detective Chikako Ishizu after a break of fifteen years. Working on a hunch, they collaborate to unravel the fine line between fantasy and the harsh reality of Murder.
Shadow Family is excellent detective fiction that keeps you guessing until the end. Within a skillful web of intrigue, Miyabe sensitively explores the meaning of family and relationships, and the devastating effect of betrayal.