Japan, 1699. On a moonlit night in Ezogashima, the northernmost island of Japan, a woman is running through the forest when an arrow zooms out of the darkness to strike her dead. Meanwhile, a world away in the city of Edo, the eight-year-old son of Sano Ichiro, the samurai detective who has risen to power and influence in the shoguns court, vanishes during a moon-watching party.
When Sanos political rival, Lord Matsudaira, hints that the boy may be in Ezogashima, Sanos wife, Reiko, insists on accompanying him on the desperate journey. After an eleven-day voyage through cold and treacherous waters, they arrive at Ezogashima, only to find that Lord Matsumae, distraught at the murder of his mistress, is holding the whole province hostage until someone confesses to the crime. No one is allowed in or out of Ezogashima, and although Matsumae tells Sano his son is there, he refuses to release him.
Sano strikes a deal: He will solve the murder of Matsumaes mistress if Lord Matsumae will free the hostages and return their son. Soon, however, he and Reiko find themselves caught up in a dangerous scheme that includes clan warfare, jealous husbands, and murderous betrayal.
"Starred Review. Compelling pacing and well-rounded characters enhance the intriguing plot and will draw in new readers as well as longtime fans." - PW.
"Rowland's 12th Ichiro mystery threatens to become overheated and overplotted, but abundant historical color and an elegant, controlled style keep it nicely grounded." - Kirkus Reviews.
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Laura Joh Rowland is the daughter of Chinese and Korean immigrants. She grew up in Michigan and was educated at the University of Michigan, where she graduated with a B.S. in Microbiology and a Masters in Public Health. She lives in New Orleans with her husband, Marty, and their three cats. She is the author of 13 books featuring the samurai detective Sano Ichiro, as well as several fictional novels featuring the adventures of Charlotte Bronte.
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