"The Fires of the Gods", by I.J. Parker

The Fires of the Gods - I.J. Parker
Book 8, in the Sugawara Akitada series 
This 8th installment continues Akitada saga finding our honorable sleuth once more in trouble. 

Synopsis taken from the autor’s website 


Eleventh-century Japan, the capital of Heian-Kyo is plagued by unexplained fires, and panic is threatening to break out, but government official Sugawara Akitada has his own problems to worry about. His ailing wife is expecting a child, and he loses his job to a political appointee. When he tries to confront the nobleman who is responsible for his dismissal, however, he ends up suspected of his murder.


With no income and a growing family to support, Akitada desperately plunges into the investigation of this crime, aided by his faithful servant Tora, inadvertently placing not only his own life, but also the lives of his wife and child, in grave danger . . .”


My views:
I have been following Ms. Parker for years and especially fond of the Akitada series. His sagas have remained fresh throughout the years and always had a wonderful and strong theme. This time the mystery looks into the abuse of power and the incompetence of people at the top, the dark side of the underclass and the characters that enrich themselves on others misfortunes. The author is a master in blending action into a lush tapestry of ancient Japanese society and elegantly writes without mixing any melodrama into her drama. Akitada is a colorful protagonist and is joined by a large cast of intriguing characters that are as deeply bound to tradition as he is. Her style is very sophisticated and ideas so prolific it seems to never run out of steam. I still have to catch up on this series and looking forward in doing so.