Friday, July 29, 2016

The Ninja's Daughter by Susan Spann

Synopsis From Back Cover:

Autumn, 1565:  When an actor's daughter is murdered on the banks of the Kyoto's Kamo River, master ninja Hiro Hattori and Portuguese Jesuit Father Mateo are the victim's only hope for justice. 

As political tensions rise in the wake of the shogun's recent death, and rival samurai threaten war, the Kyoto police forbid an investigation of the killing, to keep the peace.  Undeterred, Hiro and Father Mateo undertake a secret investigation into the exclusive world of Kyoto's theater guilds, where nothing, and no one, is as it seems.  Their investigation soon reveals a mysterious golden coin, a forbidden love affair, a missing mask, and dangerous link to corruption that leaves both Hiro and Father Mateo running for their lives. 

Before I sat down to start this review, I went back and reread my review for the second book in this series, Blade of the Samurai.  I could cheat, copy and paste that review here, with maybe a few edits, and call it a day.  For the most part, it would be an honest review of this book, but blogger ethics are kicking in.  I figure I better get to writing a fresh review to convince you that no matter what, this is a book, and a series, worth reading.

I should start with the similarities, just to get them out of the way.  I love Hiro and Father Mateo.  I would gladly spend the rest of my life hanging out and talking with them.  I have a preference for Father Mateo, but it's a slight one as both are well written and fascinating to read.  Despite my love for the two protagonists, I'm still wishing I could get lost in the setting more.  While I think the author builds a realistic, and three dimensional world for the reader to explore, I still don't get the impression that Hiro and Father Mateo belong exclusively to feudal Japan.  I could just as easily see them in modern day New York, and while I love them both, I wish that wasn't so.

The biggest difference between the two books for me was the atmosphere of the book.  This was one just a tad bit darker, a little heavier, and I loved it.  I want a mystery book to envelope me when I'm delving into it's pages, and this one did.  It had enough twists and turns to keep me guessing, and I had to force myself to put it down when my attention was needed elsewhere.  I'm really needing to go back and read the two books I've missed in this series, since hanging out with Hiro and Father Mateo is quickly becoming one of my favorite pastimes.

I want to thank Lisa of TLC Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this book.  Please visit the tour page to read other reviews.


bermudaonion said...

I would hesitate to pick this one up because of the time period but your enthusiasm makes me think I might like it.

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Awesome to hear you enjoyed the book, and previous one. :D This series has caught my eye with the world it's set in. Great! :D

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Oh you usually get Japanese books in a more contemporary feel so this appeals to me that it is way in the past. You have me more curious about the first book since I do tend to like darker so I do think I need to try that one first. Brilly review.

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

"I would gladly spend the rest of my life hanging out and talking with them." Oh yes me too! These characters are intriguing and realistic and fascinating to me.

Thanks for being a part of the tour!