THE CLOUD PAVILION
Reading this book is like being transported back to Japan in the year
1701 -- and it's a wonderful journey. Rowland's 14th mystery in this series comes alive with characters who are larger than life. The imagery and historical descriptions are fresh and interesting, but Rowland keeps the suspense at the forefront, where it belongs.
When a woman is kidnapped and sexually assaulted while clouds swirl around her, Chamberlain Sano Ichiro is approached by his estranged uncle to find the missing woman, who is his daughter. Sano is torn between turning his back on the man, who hurt Sano's mother, and doing the right thing. In the meantime, Sano is suspicious of his former rival, Yanagisawa, who is acting totally out of character by being friendly and cooperative. As Sano investigates the kidnapping, he learns that nothing is as it first appears. (MINOTAUR, Nov., 304 pp., $24.99)