Archive for 'Parker, I. J.'
Black Arrow is a fascinating historical mystery set in Japan in 1015 A.D. It has everything I like in a mystery â€“ interesting setting, intriguing characters, multiple plot lines â€“ throw in political intrigue and lot of interesting cultural information and you have a really good book.
Black Arrow follows the trials and tribulations of Sugawara Akitada, who has been made deputy governor of the remote and historically troublesome Echigo province. He needs to quickly assert his authority over the local warlord family, judicial system, and police while he tries to solve an increasing number of murders and mysteries in his district. Along the way, Akitada meets all manner of interesting locals. Nobles, holy men, brothel owners, shopkeepers, wrestlers, outcasts, actors, doctors, soldiers, and tradesmen are all described and we get a real feeling for the time and place.
There are many overlapping crimes and mysteries in this book that need untangling. Fortunately, Akitada has brought a small staff with him and acquires a few loyal helpers along the way. Akitada is always on the verge of being overwhelmed by the tasks before him and he needs the help of his growing number of allies all the way through to the bookâ€™s climactic end.
I thought this was a great book. The only drawback for me was the high gore factor. This is probably in keeping with the time period, but for modern readers it can seem a little much.
Favorite character? Hard to choose, there are so many good ones. Did I guess it? Some of it â€“ there are many plot lines. Will I read another? Yes.
Mystery Book Reviews by Liz at http://reviewedbyliz.com Â©2007