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The Hell Screen (Penguin Mysteries)by I J Parker
Synopses & Reviews
Eleventh-century Japan: After a difficult but successful assignment as provisional governor of Eichigo, Akitada Sugawara is finally allowed to return to Heian Kyo. But instead of a triumphant homecoming accompanied by his beautiful wife and young son, Akitada must ride ahead of his entourage to the sickbed of his dying mother. Fading light and a steady downpour interrupt his journey, forcing him to take refuge in a temple where a brilliantly illustrated hell screen and a piercing cry disturb his restless sleep.
Upon his arrival, Akitada finds his mother, sick and bitter, cursing his return, while his youngest sister, Yoshiko, forsakes her own happiness to serve as the old woman's nurse and maid. Only his sister Akiko seems fortunate---married to a wealthy nobleman, Toshikage, and expecting their first child. But appearances prove to be deceptive, for it is not long before Akitada is asked to help clear his brother-in-law's name. In the course of his investigation Akitada learns that his night at the temple was disturbed by more than a terrible scream. A woman has been murdered, and because of his reputation for detective work, Akitada must solve another mystery. Personal and professional interests begin to merge as Akitada becomes ensnared in a tangled web of deceit and malevolence that will, in the end, strike very close to home.
Rich, textured, and historically researched, this complex mystery of ancient Japan is the second in an acclaimed series featuring Akitada Sugawara.
A tangled web of deceit strikes very close to home in this new mystery of ancient Japan featuring Sugawara Akitada
Eleventh-century Japan is the expertly realized setting for I. J. Parker?s ingenious mystery series featuring sleuth Sugawara Akitada. In The Hell Screen, Akitada is on his way to the bedside of his dying mother when bad weather forces him to take refuge in a temple whose central treasure is a brilliantly painted hell screen. Perhaps its violent imagery influences his dreams: that night he is awakened by a scream. It?s only after Akitada returns to a scene of domestic unhappiness and scandal that the significance of that cry becomes clear. For while he slept, a woman was murdered, and now he must find her killer.
About the Author
I . J . Parker won a Shamus Award for the short story "Akitada's First Case," which sparked her Sugawara Akitada series of mysteries.
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