Suagwara Akitada, an eleventh century nobleman has been serving in the Ministry
of Justice of the Emperor’s court. He, his young wife and servants are
sent to a new posting, the provisional governorship of the northern outpost
With winter closing in, the area is about to be isolated from the rest of
Japan. Akitada has meet with resistance from the local officials and is distrusted
by the people. Echigo officials have reported to the Emperor a successful
grain harvest, but Akitada finds poverty, hunger and rebellion. Where has
the grain gone and what dose a thirty one year old murder have to do with
the conditions of the area?
It seems Akitada has been sent here to fail. An innkeeper is brutally murdered
and three travelers have been accused. With incompetent officials pushing
for a speedy trial and conviction it looks like innocent persons are going
to be punished.
There are many twists and turns as Akitada tries to unravel the lies, deceit,
jealousy and murder.
The great thing about this novel is that it starts out with a mystery and
continues to lead a very crooked path into other crimes and plots. I.J Parker
has a clear understanding of the period and the characters. I really enjoyed
how the storyline developed. If you enjoy novels that get more complex as
the mysteries unfold you’ll love this one. I know I did.
I did have some trouble as I started the book in keeping track of the many
I.J. Parker has produced a real page-turner; you won’t want to put it
down. I highly recommend this book and am looking forward to the next.
ABOUT THE REVIEWER
Wayne Sears developed a love for reading in grade five and continues
to have a ferocious appetite for literature. His favorite books are
Mysteries, Suspense and Crime Novels.
Wayne was born in the prairie region of southern Alberta and in his
early life enjoyed the outdoors with hunting and fishing. He still
enjoys getting out in the countryside with his wife of twenty years,
enjoying the scenery, but now shooting with a camera. Besides reading
Wayne has taken up woodcarving and is enjoying take photographs of
scenery and wildlife for subjects but his first love still is reading
a good novel.
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2007 SPINETINGLER Magazine - All rights reserved