on 2 April 2009
This is the first book in the Sano Ichiro series that I read and despite this there was no problem following the story. The books can be read as stand alone or following the series even if at the moment some are difficult to find.
In this book we find that Sano Ichiro's son Masahiro has gone missing. One of Sano's rivals hints that he has been kidnapped and taken to the northern frontier island of Esogashima where Sano and his wife Reiko go. Once there they find that the ruler of the area, Lord Matsumae, is holding the province hostage for the murder of his mistress. We also find that theLord is going mad as the dead mistress is taking over his mind
Sano begins to investigate the murder of the Lord Matsumae's mistress and searches for Masahiro at the same time.
As in the other Sano Ichiro book which I read there is betrayal, intrigue and clan warfare.
The book is readable however after reading the book Red Chrysanthemum I realised that some questions that we were left with in the epilogue of that book were not answered in this one, maybe these will be brought up in the next installment of the series.