Death Sentences: "One hell of an enjoyable read"

By Nina Allan
Strange Horizons

kawamata_death coverIn the prologue of Death Sentences we observe a woman, Miura Sachiko, being tailed by a police detective. We see her take a bus ride, go into a coffee shop, make a phone call. The detective, Sakamoto, has nothing to go on, and at this point neither do we. Is the woman a spy perhaps, a drug runner? It feels like we've landed in the middle of some kind of noir thriller—but then it's revealed that the woman is trading not in drugs but in photocopies of some kind of forbidden text. A political thriller then? Not exactly. As we follow Sakamoto around Tokyo, we learn that whatever Miura Sachiko has been reading, it not only warps the mind, it afflicts the body, too.

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