Jeong You-jeong is thought to be one of many prime thriller and crime writers in her native South Korea and has even drawn comparisons with United States’ Stephen King.
And she simply justifies this billing in The Good Son – her fourth novel and the primary to be translated into English. It is a slow-burn crime thriller that isn’t only a highly effective page-turner, however succeeds in worming its manner underneath your pores and skin.
Kim Chi-young, the translator, does a splendid job with the haunting supply materials and the novel has been listed as a “Summer Must Read” by the likes of Entertainment Weekly and Vulture, and was additionally featured on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Jeong, who was educated as a nurse, writes with such managed scientific precision that the reader is transported into the thoughts of the narrator and the titular “Good Son”, 25-year-old Han Yu-jin.
Han, a swim champ on the verge of creating the nationwide crew, is compelled to desert his desires as he’s liable to bouts of epileptic seizures. He now aspires to develop into a lawyer.
He wakes up disoriented one morning to a metallic scent, which he at first groggily attributes to an unwelcome facet impact of skipping his treatment. But he quickly realises in horror that he’s lined in blood.
With a hazy reminiscence of the final 12 hours, he stumbles down the flight of stairs in his household’s swanky duplex to seek out his mom mendacity in a pool of blood along with her throat slit open. There aren’t any indicators of intruders.
His brother Kim Hae-jin, an orphan adopted into the household after Yu-jin’s personal organic father and brother drowned in a mishap when he was a baby, had apparently not been home the whole evening.
THE GOOD SON
By Jeong You-jeong, translated by Kim Chi-young
Little, Brown Book Group/ Paperback/313 pages/$27.77/ Books Kinokuniya/ Four-1/2 stars
The whodunit locked-room thriller is solved fairly early on, at which level the novel evolves right into a chilling psychological look down the rabbit gap right into a critically unhinged thoughts.
The Good Son flits between flashbacks and fantasies, delusions and diary entries, as Han, himself an unreliable narrator given his woolly recollections, tries to piece collectively the occasions main as much as the tragedy.
Jeong reportedly takes inspiration from a real-life case within the climactic scene.
The unique Korean title of her novel interprets as The Origin Of Species and the fictional killer was described as listening to the digital tune Conquest Of Paradise (1992) by Greek composer Vangelis.
This is simply how convicted cannibal and serial killer – and now death-row inmate – Yoo Young-chul had psyched himself up earlier than going after his prey from 2003 to 2004.
The Good Son is darkish and claustrophobic – simply as you’d image the palette of Korean crime films like Confession Of Murder (2012), a few policeman haunted for his failure to nab a serial killer 15 years in the past, and who was taunted into reopening the case after the killer publishes a e-book to say accountability for the crimes.
Jeong’s novel can also be getting the big-screen treatment, the place her twisted journey into the psychopathic thoughts will come alive.
And one may also solely hope that her different three novels will, too, be translated for an English viewers.
If you want this, learn: Please Look After Mom by Shin Kyung-sook (Vintage Books, 2012, $24.69, Books Kinokuniya). Shin’s e-book, additionally deftly translated by Kim Chi-young, supplies a haunting glimpse on the idea of household in Korean tradition on this 2012 winner of the Man Asian literary award. A household frantically seems for his or her mom who goes lacking at a busy Seoul subway station, however alongside the way in which, they realise they don’t actually know who she is.