On Sunday 18th March 2007, Mark Schreiber’s review of The Risk of Infidelity Index appeared in The Japan Times.
“The Risk of Infidelity Index [is] festooned with memorable characters and a solid plot. Moore probes the country's dark side to new depths. . . . ‘Infidelity’ stays focused on crime and detection, in a tightly written narrative . . . a satisfying read.” Mark Schreiber, The Japan Times
You can read the full review at http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fb20070318a1.html
A review in a major international newspaper like The Japan Time needs to be put in perspective. With fewer newspapers around the world are running book reviews. Those with review pages are cutting back on the number of reviews. I understand that The Japan Times is also cutting down on the number and length of reviews.
Less space, fewer newspapers with book review pages is coming at a time when the number of books published each year reaching 175,000 in the United States alone. Access to review space has become more restricted. But we haven’t seen anything yet. Some have said this reflects the failure of publishers to advertise in newspapers. Others say there are fewer people who are interested in reading a book review. The combination of these forces point to a future where book reviews such as the one above will become increasingly rare. In the future, I suspect reviewers will migrate to the Internet. That is not all bad as certain specialized website are reviewing fiction with intelligence and depth, bringing books to a larger audience. A good example for crime fiction lovers is Material Witness which also reviewed The Risk of Infidelity Index.
There will be fewer professional reviewers like Mark Schreiber who has a lifetime of study of books in Asia. And there will be more of the amazon.com reader reviews. Not to knock those reviewers, many of them know their stuff and write insightful, and provocative reviews. But it is an eyeball issue.
If you find your way to an amazon.com review, it is because you’re already interested in a book and want to check out what other readers have to say. If you’ve never heard of The Risk of Infidelity Index (which isn’t available through amazon.com) then its existence will never register on your book radar screen.