The Earthquake Bird Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Earthquake Bird

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.
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The review of this Book prepared by Katherine Bradshaw

Mysterious, Sep 2001, 22.95, 213 pp.
ISBN: 0892967420

   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.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Earthquake Bird

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 80%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   1980's-1999    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   40%    -   70% Special suspect?    -   investigator him/herself    -   best friend Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   character killed during/after sexing    -   Proving innocence of very obvious suspect Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, American Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   searching for missing person    -   feelings towards lover Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   teacher Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   British


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK Asia/Pacific    -   Yes Asian country:    -   Japan

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Explicit sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   actual description of sex Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Susanna Jones Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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