By Laura Joh Rowland

When veteran samurai-detective Sano Ichiro, the main Honorable Investigator of occasions, events, and folks, is named directly to examine the burning of a cottage belonging to the Black Lotus Temple, he makes a stunning discovery. the 3 sufferer of the blaze didn't die within the hearth, yet have been brutally murdered sooner than the fireplace even started. With a triple murder on his fingers, Sano's look for a killer leads him to Haru, an orphan lady came across on the scene of the crime. yet Sano's spouse, Reiko, investigating the case opposed to Sano's needs, is confident of Haru's innocence. Reiko's research leads her in the back of the partitions of the Black Lotus Temple, the place she discovers a sect serious about extortion, prostitution, and hedonistic rituals. might one of many sect's individuals be the killer? Now Reiko needs to danger her marriage to Sano so one can end up Haru's innocence...

Set within the luscious finery of the samurai courtroom of medieval Japan, this most up-to-date installment within the bestselling sequence via Laura Joh Rowland is stuffed with stunning stunned and suspense as readers are once more allowed entry into the realm of Sano Ichiro.

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Perhaps her detective talents have been dulled by means of the lengthy hiatus from such paintings. Hiding her dismay, Reiko stated flippantly, “I shall desire different witnesses to verify Haru’s alleged misbehavior. ” “There are 4 the following during this room. ” Abbess Junketsu-in gestured on the nuns seated within the corners; they unflinchingly met Reiko’s gaze. How handy, Reiko idea. Obedient subordinates weren’t precisely self sufficient witnesses, and Junketsu-in’s reluctance to enable her search others bolstered her suspicions in regards to the abbess. “While the habit you describe is improper for a potential nun, the data you’ve given me has no direct relating the arson,” she stated, noting that she had not more cause to doubt Haru than Junketsu-in. The abbess stated with an air of boastful triumph, “A nun in command of the orphans informed me that she checked on them in the course of the evening sooner than the fireplace, and Haru wasn’t in mattress. ” Junketsu-in smiled at Reiko’s frown. “I’m now not shocked that Haru has fooled you. She’s rather an complete liar. If she says she’s misplaced her reminiscence of that evening, it’s simply because she was once as much as no strong and attempting to conceal the reality. ” even though shaken, Reiko wasn’t able to settle for the concept that Haru had lied to her, or the abbess’s implication that Haru were out environment the fireplace. First she needs to reconstruct these lacking hours of Haru’s existence. Reiko stated, “She might have been taken to the cottage opposed to her will. There’s a lump on her head, and she’s coated with bruises. ” A unexpected stress stiffened Junketsu-in’s posture. She sipped from her tea bowl, as though desiring time to think about a answer. might be she hadn’t identified approximately Haru’s accidents and used to be stunned through the inside track. yet she recovered quick, asserting, “Haru should have performed it to herself. She did it as soon as prior to, whilst she sought after us to imagine monk she’d seduced had attacked her. ” even though it appeared unbelievable to Reiko that anybody may damage herself so badly, Haru had displayed the injuries after her tale of misplaced reminiscence and declare of innocence hadn’t confident Reiko. Had she set the fireplace, then attempted to make herself seem like a sufferer? Reiko’s sympathy for Haru vied along with her wisdom that reliance on a suspect’s tale may lead her off track. She needs to think about Junketsu-in’s accusations, yet she wouldn’t allow them to move unchallenged. “Did a person see Haru pouring oil at the cottage and lights it? ” Reiko requested. Junketsu-in’s slim fingers, white and tender as a highborn lady’s, closed tightly round her tea bowl. A calculating expression came visiting her beneficial properties, yet she shook her head. “Not that i do know of. ” the reply introduced Reiko a degree of vindication, even though she knew that Sano’s detectives have been analyzing the crime scene, wondering the temple citizens, and may ultimately attach Haru with the arson. “If you are expecting me to think Haru is in charge, then you definately needs to both produce a few yes facts or let me to interview extra witnesses,” Reiko acknowledged to the abbess. They looked one another with mutual dislike. Then stealthy footsteps creaked the ground outdoors the room.

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