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Publisher's Summary

In this second installment of Japanese best-selling author Tetsuya Honda's much-loved Reiko Himekawa series, before worrying about finding the identity of the culprit in a murder case, police will first have to stretch their resources to discover the identity of the victim.

A severed left hand is found in a minivan abandoned on a dry riverbed. When Tokyo Metropolitan Police Force lieutenant Reiko Himekawa and her team join the investigation, the hand is quickly identified as belonging to building contractor Ken'ichi Takaoka, and from the amount of blood spilled in the van, it is presumed that he was killed. However, searches fail to turn up the rest of the body, and the mystery deepens when a childhood friend shown a photo of the victim declares, "That's not Takaoka".

The hand was actually cut from Kazutoshi Naito, who was believed to have killed himself 13 years before. What has Himekawa stumbled into?

©2017 Tetsuya Honda (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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Unexpected

I found this recommendation on an email list and then actually held off in favor of reading the first book in the series first. For US readers this is quite a treat since it's a little different from the usual police procedural set here. The Japanese approach is different and the heroine, Reiko Himekawa is a delightful bundle of angst, uncertainty, energy and emotion. The narrative is told through several viewpoints sometimes overlapping or adding more detail. Each character's voice is very developed and draws you in. A word of caution here though- there are recurring themes of violence towards women that are disturbing. There's also an ongoing attitude towards Reiko by her co-workers that (I hope) is an exaggeration of cultural differences in how women are treated in the US verses Japan. A lot of what Reiko deals with from her co-workers would end in people getting fired for sexual harassment here. I am not by any means expert on Japanese culture so this was a bit of a surprise to me. That said - I'm really looking forward to the next books.