Black Arrow (Sugawara Akitada Series #4)

( 2 )

Overview

In I. J. Parker's latest mystery set in ancient Japan, a cold and hostile land pits Akitada against his deadliest foe yet

I. J. Parker's engrossing historical novels bring eleventh-century Japan to life in all its colorful, treacherous glory. As Black Arrow opens, Sugawara Akitada assumes his new post as provisional governor of Echigo, a frigid province in the far north notorious for its hostility to outsiders. But the snow that threatens to completely isolate the region is the ...

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Overview

In I. J. Parker's latest mystery set in ancient Japan, a cold and hostile land pits Akitada against his deadliest foe yet

I. J. Parker's engrossing historical novels bring eleventh-century Japan to life in all its colorful, treacherous glory. As Black Arrow opens, Sugawara Akitada assumes his new post as provisional governor of Echigo, a frigid province in the far north notorious for its hostility to outsiders. But the snow that threatens to completely isolate the region is the least of his problems-which include a local uprising, a series of brutal murders, and a mystery that's as old as the frozen hills and a lot more dangerous. Superbly written and rich in period detail, Black Arrow is another bravura performance from a master of the historical thriller.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Shamus-winner Parker's fourth historical Sugawara Akitada novel (after 2006's Rashomon Gate) deftly combines an action-packed plot with convincing period detail to bring 11th-century Japan to life. When Akitada is dispatched to a remote northern province to serve as its provisional governor, he encounters fierce opposition from the local authorities, who have driven off previous emissaries from the capital in an effort to preserve their corrupt self-governance. The murder of a local innkeeper and the apparent effort to frame three travelers for the crime give Akitada an opening to exert some power by beginning his own independent investigation. Fans of quality traditional mysteries, as well as those with a special interest in Japan, will savor this outing and look forward to the next entry in the series. (Dec.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Akitada and his team (The Hell Screen, 2003, etc.) probe two mysteries in 11th-century Japan. An elegant, oblique prologue set decades before the main action finds Death preying on a young woman and her frolicking baby in a flower-laden forest clearing. Then in 1015 a.d., the three lieutenants of Sugarawa Akitada-Tora, Hitomaro and Genba-journey to the remote province of Echigo and the town of Takata to look into the murder of elderly innkeeper Mr. Sato. Recently appointed governor of the remote and somewhat lawless Echigo, Akitada recognizes his need to earn the locals' trust if he's to bring the citizens into line. When the lieutenants arrive, they see corrupt judges ready to condemn a hapless trio of unlucky guests of the inn. Questioning by Hitomaro and company reveals the three as the unlikeliest of murder suspects. Not so Sato's randy young widow or members of a local gang that's been robbing every business in sight. (The studly Tora gets the inside scoop on the inn's doings by sleeping with Kiyo, Mrs. Sato's maid.) Akitada himself investigates, but the case is complicated by the disappearance of an elderly servant, the murder of a prostitute and subplots involving an army deserter and a dangerous warlord. Akitada's fourth adventure, as beautifully written as his first three, keeps his wife Tamako in the background but adroitly develops his three sidekicks. Agent: Jean Naggar/Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143035619
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/28/2006
  • Series: Sugawara Akitada Series , #4
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 818,893
  • Product dimensions: 5.22 (w) x 7.86 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

I. J. Parker, winner of the Shamus Award for "Akitada’s First Case," a short story published in 1999, lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She writes regularly for Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 3 of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2008

    Experience Life in 11th Century Provincial Japan

    This is the first book I have read by I J Parker and this historical novel explains life in Northern Japan'Echigo', during the eleventh-century in colorful detail. Life in Echigo for Akitada with its hostility to outsiders, creates conflicts of territorial control vs imperial or government control in order to solve a series of brutal murders. The detail of the Takata Manor provides insight on the strategic fortification for battle. Superbly written, Black Arrow is a fascinating historical thriller.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2012

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    Posted January 19, 2010

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