Sunday, February 20, 2011

Girl in a Box

About 2/3 of the way through Girl in a Box, I realized that even though it was published in 2006, I haven't seen the next Rei Shimura mystery.  Have I reached the end of another series?  I checked and it turns out I haven't - there's one more volume, but that's probably a good thing.  I've enjoyed the series, but Massey may have written herself into a box.

Rei Shimura started the series as an English teacher in Tokyo, became an antiques dealer, and as of The Typhoon Lover has become a spy of sorts, working for a shadow intelligence agency which apparently has only one other employee, ex-Navy officer Michael Hendricks.  Her mission (which she chooses to accept) is to infiltrate a Tokyo department store with questionable profits and possible links to US businesses.  It's an interesting premise, and Massey keeps the plot fairly tight for about 3/4 of the book.  Unfortunately, it feels a bit like she rushed the ending, leaving the conclusion somewhat confusing and the evolving relationship between Rei and Michael feeling like it was grafted onto a completed novel.   Perhaps Massey realized that she had to start winding up the series - and maybe that's why I got the feeling around page 200 that this might be the last Rei Shimura mystery.

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