Title: Memories of Murder (살인의 기억)
Status: Ongoing (282 chapters at the time of this review)
Translation Status: No translation
Tags: Korean, modern fantasy, criminal investigation, special ability.
Ever since he was a child, the main character discovered that he has the ability to see the past memories of people/creatures/corpses whenever he feels malicious intent. He becomes a police officer and uses this ability to catch criminals and murderers.
Review: A great novel if you enjoy criminal investigation/murder mysteries.
I think it is great that the author spends a bit of time in the beginning chapters to detail the main character’s childhood where he learned about the consequences of his ability (causing someone to die) and how he decided to become a police officer.
The main character is great at fighting and tries to be calm and composed, but he does become hot-headed and reckless sometimes, especially when he uses his ability and knows who the murderer is, but can’t catch the murderer due to lack of evidence. However, he doesn’t always rely on his ability to solve cases. It requires a certain activation trigger so there are times when he has to rely on his own smarts and the help/resources of the police force.
The author slowly delves into the side effects of using the ability. The main character is literally seeing from the perspective of the murderer so he becomes sick after seeing the memories and although he doesn’t show it outwardly, he is affected by their emotions. It gets to the point where he is forced to see a psychiatrist due to how it affects him.
One of my favorite parts about the novel is that the main character isn’t completely determined to hide his ability. People find out about it when necessary, especially when he is young and doesn’t really know how to hide it. They realize the usefulness of his ability and support him along the way, giving him great backing.
To further expand on this point, there is a great depiction of side characters. There is the police chief who is the earliest to know about his ability, becoming like a father to the main character when growing up. The police chief is always there to give the main character encouragement when he is depressed about aspects of the case he is working on and their relationship is great. The main character also has his team around him, who are good at aspects that he isn’t and helps him to solve the various cases he works on.
Finally, there are the cases he works on. They are all very interesting and cover a different range of murderers and motivations, from psychopaths to sympathetic murders. The last one is obviously the most complicated for the main character because he feels sympathy for them, not malice. This makes it hard for him to activate his ability.
Overall, it is a really great novel about the police force and criminal investigations in South Korea with a slight hint of fantasy when it comes to his ability to add a flair to it.