By Laura Joh Rowland

On a whim of the shogun’s mom, a procession has left the sweltering warmth of Edo, certain for the cooler weather of Mount Fuji. between her touring partners are Reiko, the gorgeous spouse of Sano Ichir_, the shogun’s so much Honorable Investigator of occasions, occasions, and folks; Reiko’s buddy Midori, 9 months pregnant; and girl Yanagisawa, the deranged spouse of the shogun’s robust second-in-command. None of them watch for the journey. yet their issues have merely all started while their procession is stopped by surprise on a abandoned highway. the full retinue is viciously slaughtered and the 4 girls are sure and brought away, imprisoned by means of a mysterious kidnapper.

Sano now reveals himself confronted with an important case of his profession. The shogun calls for speedy motion, and lower than the specter of demise, Sano is pressured to paintings together with his sour enemies---Chamberlain Yanagisawa and Police Commissioner Hoshina.

The ladies are in coming near near risk, and the supply of a ransom word in simple terms complicates matters---forcing either Sano and Reiko to take determined measures. once more, Laura Joh Rowland’s staggering mix of historical past and storytelling attracts us right into a luxurious and treacherous world.

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He set us up that you can name in that want and me to save lots of your life,” Sano stated. Hoshina became, nonetheless protecting the window bars. He appeared Sano as though he’d misplaced his brain, then gave a glum chortle. “No. That’s too devious even for the honorable chamberlain. ” Hoshina resumed observing outdoors, his head and clenched arms black opposed to the daylight that streamed round him. “He reduce me free the instant he learn the ransom letter. ” Sano discovered that during many ways he knew Yanagisawa greater than Hoshina did. He additionally learned that attempting to persuade Hoshina that Yanagisawa hadn’t forsaken him used to be a waste of time. “I’ll be going now,” Sano stated, then referred to as the guards to unbar the door. “If Naraya or the Kii extended family is excited about the abduction, I’ll quickly discover. ” ahead of leaving the fort, Sano stopped at Chamberlain Yanagisawa’s property. The antechamber was once crowded with officers who sat smoking and chatting whereas they waited to work out the chamberlain. yet a clerk moved quickly Sano previous the opposite males and into the reception corridor. There, Yanagisawa knelt at the dais. Secretaries held a scroll open on a writing table earlier than him. 3 black-robed officers, seated under the dais, watched him ink his jade seal and stamp the record. whilst Yanagisawa observed Sano status on the threshold, he brushed off the secretaries and officers. He gestured for Sano to kneel close to him. “Did you study whatever helpful from the honorable police commissioner? ” Yanagisawa acknowledged. Sano spotted that Yanagisawa didn’t ask how Hoshina was once. The chamberlain’s businesslike demeanour indicated that he cared basically even if Hoshina had supplied clues to the kidnapper’s identification. probably Yanagisawa didn’t are looking to show own quandary for Hoshina while an individual may perhaps overhear, yet Sano questioned if Yanagisawa had certainly deserted Hoshina. definitely, the best way he mentioned Hoshina via name rather than identify indicated that he thought of their courting a specific thing of the previous. Sano concept he should have misjudged Yanagisawa. “Here’s a listing of the entire deaths linked to Hoshina. ” Sano passed the paper to the chamberlain. “We pointed out basic suspects. ” He named Naraya and the Kii extended family, then defined the deaths that had concerned them and Hoshina. As he spoke, Yanagisawa listened closely yet with no remark. “I’m on my technique to see them. likelihood is that Naraya or a person within the Kii extended family is . . . ” Sano recalled the mysterious poem. “The Dragon King. ” A faint smile touched Yanagisawa’s lips. “What an apt identify for the kidnapper. ” He paused, chin in hand, mulling over the checklist. Then he seemed to achieve a call. “You interrogate the merchant,” he acknowledged. “Leave the Kii extended family to me. We’ll meet this night, on the hour of the boar, to check effects. ” Sano questioned if Yanagisawa did, in the end, are looking to keep Hoshina and mend their damaged affair; yet in fact, his basic goal used to be to capture the kidnapper. Yanagisawa sought after credits for rescuing woman Keisho-in, as Hoshina had urged; and Sano recalled situations the place his longtime adversary had appropriated proof he’d came upon.

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