Masako, Yoshie, Yayoi and Kinuko work in the night shift in a company that produces boxed lunches. The four women are quite different for nature and behaviour: Masako is clever and cold, Yoshie, always kind, works to support her adolescent daughter and her disabled mother in law, Yayoi is a young mother, while Kuniko, hasty and spendthrift, is plagued by debts.
The relationships between them are destined to get stronger after Yayoi kills her husband after he tried to beat her. She ask help to Masako to get rid of the body, and for various reasons the other two women are involved also in the after-murder.
However it is not so easy to feel safe: some body parts are found, a loan company is suspicious about Kuniko money transfers, and a night-club owner, wrongly accused of the murder, is interested in knowing the truth and getting his revenge.
The atmosphere of the novel seems rarefied, both for the continuous worry about being discovered, and for the private life of the main characters, that does not provided them any satisfaction or happiness. Masako does not have anymore a dialogue with her husband and her son (who closed in a self-imposed muteness), Yoshie is vexed by demanding daughters and by her mother in law who constantly needs to be helped, and Kuniko is selfish and alone.
Out is an interesting noir, easy to read but distressing, and it show us a different kind of Japan, very different from the one we are used to know. It’s a suggested reading, but take into account that there is random violence and dissected bodies.
* Out by Natsuo Kirino ★★★★☆
*I read this book in italian