People Who Eat Darkness: The True Story of a Young Woman Who Vanished from the Streets of Tokyo--and the Evil That Swallowed Her Up is the story of a young British woman named Lucie Blackman who vanished off the streets of Tokyo in 2000. Many true crime novels play up the sensational angles of the story they tell, giving a lurid and voyeuristic tone to horrible crimes. People Who Eat Darkness is different. It reads more like a biography or a cultural study and remains respectful towards Lucie and her family.
At the time of her disappearance, Lucie was attempting to pay off debts she had accrued by working as a hostess in a Japanese night club. The role of "hostess" is something that is uniquely Japanese; Lucie was paid to pour drinks and make conversation. The hostess is not quite a geisha, and is not expected to have sex with her customers, although after-hour dates with the men she meets is a requirement to remain employed. Unfortunately for Lucie, one of her customers ended up being a sexual predator, who had a long history of drugging and raping foreign hostesses.
At the time of Lucie Blackman's disappearance, Parry was a British foreign correspondent based in Japan. Over the course of the next ten years he closely followed every twist and turn in the case. He became close to Lucie's family, and the first part of the book is devoted to painting a picture of Lucie and what her life was like before she moved to Japan. He gives a thorough account of the investigation, the trial, and even attempts to delve into the motives of a reclusive killer, whose past is shrouded in mystery.
Jennifer P @ Central