After Dark follows the intersecting paths of a handful of characters over the course of one night in Tokyo. Supermodel, Eri Asai, is alone in a room sleeping. Her sister Mari, a young college student, has decided to spend the night in the city, where she happens to meet Takahashi a young jazz musician. As the night progresses Mari is called upon to use her Chinese language skills to help the owner of a love hotel and the young, Chinese prostitute who was brutally beaten by one of her clients.
After reading the review for After Dark on Carl’s blog Stainless Steel Droppings, I couldn’t resist. I took it home with me that night and devoured it over the weekend. The book illustrates the mystery and power of night. The chapter titles are times on the clock. The later it gets the more apparent it is that the people who inhabit the night world are very different creatures from those who live in the daytime. And though they often wear thick skins, something in the wee hours allows them to be more emotionally vulnerable. I was immediately drawn in by the characters. They were genuine and compelling. The novel tends more toward contemplation than action, but in seven hours the characters change so much.