This book jumps straight into the action, with two teenagers dying in very mysterious ways, at the same time. in the second chapter, we meet journalist Asakawa, whose niece died in Chapter 1. in a taxi, he learns about the second mysterious death from the driver, and after doing some more digging, he finds two more teenagers died the same time from possibly the same thing (as they don't know what caused the deaths, they can't say it was the same thing.) It turns out they all stayed at a lodge one week before their deaths, and together they watched a video tape. Yes, that video tape that causes viewers to die in exactly a week after they watch the video unless...er...adverts...static...a chat show...er that's not right. Someone's taped over this at the vital part, and there's no way to recover it. So Asakawa and Ryuji plan to work out how to break the curse, brining up the vengeful spirit of Sakako Yamamura along the way. And they've only got a week to do it...I like the way it starts quickly, but i think the scare with the boy at the junction was much more powerful than Tomoko's death, probably because it was written as seen from a bystander, not just looking over the victim's shoulder. The pacing is really fast, but is also just slow enough for you to not keep losing your place. You really have to be reading closely to follow at every turn.The characters and their reactions are very believable. Ryuji and Asakawa were well fleshed out throughout, but the best character development came right at the very end. Yes, that's when one of them dead. And?The writing was excellent. The tension grips you from the start, and doesn't let you go. Even then, it still doesn't let you go. The cliff-hanger is extreme-life, death and a little family morals come in to it. This (as far as I remember. I read it a long time ago) is NOT resolved in book two, Loop, so your imagination is left to work overtime.And work overtime it does. Of all the books I've ever read, including a few Stephen Kings and classics like Frankenstein, THIS has been the only one to scare me to the point of keeping me awake, not wanting to go to bed. Sadako and her power is creepy. Fact.Overall: Strength 5 tea to the best ghost story you will ever find.