The Quest for the Missing Girl (2008)

“Why does everyone always talk about Megu and never about me? Me too … I’d like somebody to help me too sometime …”

Something a bit different this time. This book is a single volume Manga with writing and art by Jiro Taniguchi. This is the first work that I have read by him but he has a career stretching back to beginning of the 80s. This one was originally published in 2000 but this English edition is from 2008.

When the daughter of his dead friend goes missing,  Shiga feels obligated to travel to Tokyo to help look for her. He feels guilty for not being with his friend when he died on a mountain climbing expedition with his last written words being a plea to look out for his wife and daughter. Shiga’s investigations lead to the uncovering of a secret life of the missing girl and the climb of his life to rescue her.

This was an enjoyable read without being exceptional. The story was a fairly standard thriller that didn’t really explore the motivations of the characters and left a lot unsaid about tension felt by Shiga in the presence of his friend’s wife. Also the outcome of the story was never really in doubt so, for me, there was not a lot of dramatic tension. The black and white art, however, is very nice with some beautifully detailed backgrounds of the mountains and the city of the kind that you only seem to get in Manga books.