A battle-tested project leader at PR firm Cyberplan and a slippery bachelor, Sakuma sees himself as a player. His smug self-regard doesn’t seem entirely unfounded, both in love and at work. When his idea for a mini-theme park is dismissed as too costly and vacuous at the last minute by major client Nissei Auto, however, he seems to have met his match; Katsuragi, an heir and executive at the global carmaker, is back from a marketing stint in the U.S. with an authentic conviction that everything is a game. Once the man’s daughter by a former mistress teams up with Sakuma so she can come into her inheritance in an expeditious manner—Juri is indeed her father’s flesh and blood—we are good to go. The name of the game is a kidnapping!
Initially consumed as one of the master mystery hand’s more ﬂippant jaunts, this tight novel has proven to be a durable and encapsulating vignette of our times and an on-point public service announcement about the wages of cynicism.
Keigo Higashino was born in the lowest of lowly ghettos in Osaka, to poor parents, in a tiny house that in his words was “always one room short.” He lived off hand-me-downs, and from girls at that. Always lonely, he took to reading massive amounts of fiction—anything he could get his hands on.
An engineer by training, he became a full-time writer when his After School won the Edogawa Rampo Prize in 1985. His stateside debut came when Naoko was translated and published by Vertical, Inc. in 2004. Mr. Higashino’s fame in North America has only grown since. The Secret, the film adaptation of Naoko, was remade with David Duchovny, while The Devotion of Suspect X (from Minotaur Books) was nominated for the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award in 2012. The Name of the Game is a Kidnapping, which spawned a theatrical feature called g@me., is the author’s second work to be brought over by Vertical.