Not so much a murder mystery as I expected, but more a story about relationships and how past life not only comes back to haunt you, but also shapes who and what you are.
This report prepared by Katherine Bradshaw
Mysterious, Sep 2001, 22.95, 213 pp.
The Japanese police find the dismembered torso of a female in Tokyo Bay. They believe the victim is Lily Bridges, a Yorkshire, England woman who tended bar in the city. The prime suspect is a compatriot, Lucy Fly, who works as a translator. The third person involved in a triangle with the two women is photographer Teiji, but he has vanished.
The police question Lucy who speaks about herself as if she was referring to someone else. Lucy sort of hints at doing the crime, but has not actually confessed. Instead the vulnerable Englishwoman never quite explains why she left her country or what she is doing in Japan, nor can she provide depth to an alleged deep love affair with her missing Japanese lover, or fully elucidate her relationship with the culprit here and in England. The police (and the readers) wonder if she really killed Lily or is she just a crazy person unable to cope with life?
THE EARTHQUAKE BIRD is a powerful debut tale that is part psychological drama and part police procedural. Because of elements from both sub-genres strongly used in the story line, readers do not know which way the plot will spin until the novel reaches its disturbing but clever climax. Susanna Jones has written an incredible shocker of a tale that will leave the audience demanding more books like this triumphant chiller from a new talent whose abilities will send tremors throughout the genre.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner