Aug 062013

bein-demonPublishers Weekly: In this gripping follow-up to 2012’s Daughter of the Sword, Tokyo police officer Oshiro Mariko is now working in the Narcotics division. In the aftermath of a raid, an ancient mask is stolen, and its Yakuza owner demands that Mariko retrieve it. Her search for the mask leads her to a cult with a deadly agenda and a centuries-old mystery connected to the legendary sword she now possesses. Extensive flashbacks to the lives of two historical characters—Daigoru, a 16th-century lord who wielded Mariko’s sword, and Kaida, a 15th-century one-armed pearl diver forced to contend with ruthless mercenaries—further expand the story, essentially making it three books in one. Bein combines the best parts of police procedurals, buddy-cop films, historical fantasy, and intrigue-laden adventure, enhancing them with painstaking research and attention to atmosphere. Despite all the action, this middle volume feels incomplete, but all three stories promise to wrap up in gripping style.