Week five of 🌳 黒い森の記憶 🧠

Welcome to week five of 黒い森の記憶!

Home thread for announcements, wiki, etc

We are following the below schedule (page counts may vary based on your medium):

Week Up to Approximate Pages Percent End page
Week 5 - Feb 26 Read up until chapter 3, section 2 29 55% 157

I will generally copy this information over thread to thread each week for ease of finding - you can always expect the schedule at the top of any weekly thread :slight_smile:

:policeman: Law and Order :policewoman:

  • Any reveals, for the current chapters must be behind spoilers or detail curtains. When we get further in you don’t need to hide details that were revealed in previous chapters.
  • Questions on vocab, grammar, nuance, and the like are both welcome and encouraged. If you’re not sure if it’s a spoiler, assume it is and use one of the above options to hide the text.
  • You are encouraged to speculate and guess wildly
  • Be kind about other peoples’ wild guesses :sparkling_heart:
  • Even if you don’t read the chapter(s) in time, you are still encouraged to post in the thread for that reading once you have finished it. I advise not reading ahead in the threads as you may see spoilers.

To gauge participation - a poll!

Are you reading week 5 of 黒い森の記憶?

  • Yes, I’m planning to read along/am reading along this week
  • I’m reading, but not at the same pace as the club
  • I’m just following the discussion :popcorn:
0 voters

Happy sleuthing! :male_detective:


Wait, up until section 2? So basically read only section 1? Seems like I read ahead by mistake. :sweat_smile: (I’m thinking I might just continue, to be honest. This is a very fast read)

So, yeah, that escalated quickly. :rofl: Goes to show you should never turn up uninvited.

So the brother was a drug dealer and possibly murderer? How many murderers can there be in one family? What if it was our 老人 who killed the woman instead? 赤川 is good at making us suspect everyone (for who knows what): The murdered doctor was very suspicious when he kept his gloves on and randomly bought a knife, the shopkeeper has never remarried for so many years, who knows if he went crazy and started killing girls… Is everyone a murderer in this novel? Maybe the baby granddaughter will be seen holding a bloody knife next?


This week covers the last section of chapter 2 and the first section of chapter 3.


… must … not … read … ahead … this time :confounded: :rofl:


Wait wait wait wait! I think I figured it out!

Disclaimer: I’ve read a little ahead (halfway through chapter 3 section 3), but this is based purely on this week’s reading and what happened before, so here goes:

(Speculation, major spoilers if it turns out to be true, worthless if it doesn’t): The old man is not really the retired doctor at all. That’s why he is so vehemently opposed to anyone who would recognize him coming over. That’s why he didn’t know his wife’s date of death. That’s why his visitor didn’t instantly recognize him (unclear, as the narration is from some neutral point of view, but that’s the impression I got) before he got murdered by him. The old man is really the brother (which is also why people comment that he looks young for his age). He probably killed the doctor and then impersonated him by taking a quick retirement and withdrawing somewhere where he would not come across any of the doctor’s acquaintances. I assume they have a similar voice, as siblings often do, so he could fool his niece on the phone.


Your theory is the same as the one I came to while reading :joy: The shower scene felt very clear to me, it was an ‘Aha! This is why he’s never called by name in the narration’ moment. The brother being the old man is possible, I went with the mysterious dead-but-not-dead relative, but that wouldn’t work great for age…except I feel like maybe it would? The ~56yo store keeper calls him お年寄り which I dunno if you’d do to someone your own age :thinking: But that’s a language quirk I’m not positive on, maybe you would.

We have 2 more weeks and the final 2 are beefier reading assignments so hopefully that will keep people from zooming ahead :joy: I must say that this one is holding the mystery pretty tight for pretty long though!


Finished this week’s reading as well! And without reading ahead this time :rofl:

And… so many questions!
[I wrote all of this without reading the previous comments]

So, the guy with the black coat was the doctor who wanted to put our old man back to work.

Question 1: Why did he buy a knife? Did he know he might need to defend himself? Or did he maybe attack the old man himself? :thinking:

Question 2: Why did the old man kill him? He planned this ever since he knew that he’d come to see him, but why? Does it have anything to do with his wife’s death? Was the doctor involved, and the old man puts the blame on him?

Corollary: I guess the old man manipulated the car so that it would crash in the mountains, and so it would look like the doctor had an accident and died in the car. But how / when did he do that? Maybe he was outside initially while the doctor waited in the house, and he cut the brake fluid pipes in that time, while the vagabond waited behind the house near the hole?

Question 3: What about the uncle and the girlfriend he killed? Did the uncle maybe kill the girls as well, as soon as he had returned from abroad? But then the uncle would need to know the old man’s address, and I think only the daughter and the doctor know that.

Sooo… wild theory ensues:

The old man seems to not be surprised about the killed girls. And the doctor knows where the old man lives and hides the girl under his porch. So maybe the doctor is a pervert who likes young girls and women and likes to kill them afterwards? And maybe it was also the doctor who killed the uncle’s girlfriend and managed to put the blame on the uncle? Or maybe the doctor IS the uncle? But I don’t think so, that would have been something that somebody else had mentioned, like the daughter.

So, what’s left is the question of why the old man killed the doctor? I don’t think he wanted to be left in peace. That would have been a bit too drastic, even for him. I don’t think he wants to revenge the killed girls. That is none of his business. I think it has something to do with his wife.

Also, what about this fake policeman? There are still so many puzzles left!

OK I just read both of your theories, and omg that would be an amazing twist, and it would fit so well! I’m impressed :melting_face:


So I slept on this, and I still totally buy your theory, but what about the killed girls? Who did this if the real doctor is dead and the brother did not kill them? :thinking:

Also, the fake policeman. So if the old man is really the brother, did the fake policeman have a clue about this and tries to investigate? Is it someone the real doctor should know? :thinking:


This seems pretty likely, but I guess it’s also possible that this was the vagabond deliberately dumping the car – when he leaves the old man suggests to him that he should get rid of the car quickly, because it’s a bit conspicuous.


Finished chapter 2:

Why do I get the feeling one of the guests is gonna end up dead in the hole? :eyes:


In the Addams Family that would be considered a warm welcome :hugs:


Chapter 3, section 1:
huh? :flushed:

this is what I have been thinking as well… but wouldn’t a daughter recognize the voice? or mabye it’s his daughter, but not the doctor’s daughter. :thinking: