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The Convict's Sword (2009)

by I.J. Parker(Favorite Author)
3.88 of 5 Votes: 2
0143115790 (ISBN13: 9780143115793)
Penguin Books
Sugawara Akitada
review 1: I really liked, and almost loved, this detective story set in 11th century Japan. It was fantastically well researched (even the preface and the notes were informative) and the story was instantly engaging. In Sugawara Akitada, Parker has created a fully modern character who struggles with his conscience as much as his adversaries. I felt the ghost of (Mankell's) Kurt Wallander and Andy Sipowitcz (NYPD Blue), the good but flawed detective who is easily misunderstood but perseveres on the path of righteousness. The male dominated, class system of ancient Japan adds too the weight on his shoulders. His sense of honor and duty create a perfectly contained world where right and wrong are in stark but fleeting contrast. I look forward to finding the rest of the series. In this ... morechapter, Sugawara must repay a debt to a dead friend and solve the mystery of disgraced air that will claim his only son.
review 2: Okay, This was billed as a murder mystery set in Feudal Japan. It was a Murder Mystery, but it was not set in Feudal Japan. It felt more like a weird Twin Peaks dream combo of Feudal Japan costume, CSI Miami, and Law & Order. The unfortunate part is, I could care less about the Murder Mystery aspect, which could have been done brilliantly for all I know. I don't really care. I was in it for the setting, and the setting was as inauthentic as a bad hairpiece. I can overlook minor inaccuracies, but the whole "feel" was all wrong. It felt nothing like Japan, let alone Feudal Japan. I made it to chapter 17 and had to give up in disgust. I just couldn't stand it anymore. less
Reviews (see all)
The Sugawara Akitada series is intelligently written and can sometimes take its readers by surprise!
If only I lived in 11th century Japan....
currently listening to this in my car.
I love this series!
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