Out is one of those books that sticks in the brain for a while after reading it. Set in and around Tokyo, the plot centers on a gruesome murder and its concealment. The main characters in the book are coworkers at a boxed lunch factory, and while we start off learning about their friendships and problems at home, things spiral down into all kinds of darkness. Out is a gritty, dark book and even though it was a little slow in spots, I thought it was a fantastic read.In addition to the mystery plot, the author examines the lives of working class Japanese, a group I don't often encounter in fiction. In this story, we see families struggling to make ends meet and we witness the plights of single women in a patriarchal society as well as that of immigrants in a country that does not fully accept them. Kirino shows a side of Japan that doesn't usually make it into the media(or at least not the American media), and the unsettling issues festering beneath the surface in this book certainly make for interesting reading. It's not for the weak of stomach, but intriguing reading nonetheless.