Sunday, October 23

Book Review: Shinju by Laura Joh Rowland

Author: Laura Joh Rowland
Title: Shinju (Sano Ichiro #1)
Genre: Historical Fiction & Mystery
Pages: ebook
First Published: November 17th 1994)
Where I Got It: My Shelf (Bought on Amazon)

When beautiful, wealthy Yukiko and low-born artist Noriyoshi are found drowned together in a shinju, or ritual double suicide, everyone believes the culprit was forbidden love. Everyone but newly appointed yoriki Sano Ichiro.

Despite the official verdict and warnings from his superiors, the shogun's Most Honorable Investigator of Events, Situations, and People suspects the deaths weren't just a tragedy; they were murder. Risking his family's good name and his own life, Sano will search for a killer across every level of society determined to find answers to a mystery no one wants solved. No one but Sano...

I read  the last book of series a while back and LOVED IT! Yes, yes, I did this, but I had no idea honestly. ;D So I decided to go back to the beginning and read the beginning. 

Now, this is the first book in the long, long series. Sano is a young man and he has just began his career in the life of investigating the crimes of the city. Compared to who he became in the last book, this Sano is very young and very naive. He is so innocent and new to his desire to get justice. He finds himself stuck in-between doing what is right justice-wise vs doing what is right by tradition. Sometimes the two do not go together. 

The young Sano is annoying. I can't wait for him to feel more comfortable and not be so "OH NO! WHAT DO I DO?! I CANNOT POSSIBLY MAKE A DECISION! UGH! I FEEL SO BAD! WHO AM IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!?" I wanted to slap him. Yes, yes, I get it...but dammit so annoying. Due to his issues, he made some REALLY DUMB DECISIONS! Yes, people make mistakes...but dumb compared to older Sano. Hopefully, he is better in the next book now that he finished his first adventure. 

BUT looking at the positive.....I'm glad he wasn't the best detective/investigator! He seemed real and I liked that. But dammit....HE BETTER FIND HIMSELF IN THE NEXT ONE!

The mystery is good. Lots and lots of red herrings, BUT my original guess was right. However, I will admit I drifted from my original theory here and there, but in the end I drifted back at the end of the bread-trail. It was good and I loved the play-out of the murderer's reveal. It was good. Kinda sad and a part of me felt bad for the murderer. Just a touch...nothing more LOL. 

Now...the ending made me want to die. It was dragging on and on and on. I think the author was not sure what she wanted to do in order to tie it off nicely. The last couple of pages were good, but there was a HUGE chunk that good have been avoided. Even good stories need to end. I really wanted to go to bed, but I needed to finish it and be done with it. I want to move onto the next mystery in the series!

In the end, this was a good beginning. Sano is young and naive. Sometimes annoying as hell, but it is a new world for him so you have to give him some wiggle room. I'm glad the author made him feel real. The world was done nicely and the mystery was good. The end dragged on and on, but I'm excited for the next one in the series. People of the not be like me, please read this one first...not the last one. LOL! ;D Out of five stars, I stamp this with 3. 


Melliane said...

It sounds nice, a good beginning like you're saying even if not more

Blodeuedd said...

Yeah i say no

Carole Rae said...

Melliane, its a nice setup to fun future.

B, LOL tis okay ;)