The Pearl Diver: Rei Shimura Mysteries 7

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Teaser
: In The Pearl Diver, Rei is settling into her new life in Washington D.C. with her fiance, the dashing international lawyer Hugh. She continues to grow restless and misses her life in Japan. Fortunately, while at lunch with her cousin, she is offered a job to decorate a Japanese restaurant that will be opening in the neighborhood.

Once again, life is looking up for Rei until her cousin vanishes from the restaurant's opening night party leaving her children behind. Also, terrible things start happening to Rei and her acquaintances when she and her aunt start helping her coworker Andrea locate her long lost Japanese mother. Someone clearly doesn't want anything about Andrea's mother to come to light, and they will stop at nothing to make sure it all stays hidden.

Short Thought: An action-filled addition to the popular series that has some of the brilliance of the series' earlier novels.

Expanded Thoughts: This novel has Rei settling (or rather, re-settling) into a comfortable life with the dashing Hugh. It is once again set in Washington, D.C and centers around Rei and the constant trouble that follows her every move.

So far I have read all of the novels in order except for The Flower Master which isn't currently available.

Okay, this novel was all over the place. It seemed very unfocused and scattered at times and then afflicted with tunnel vision in other parts. I love a complex story line for mystery plot, but this one just wasn't woven together well at all. It has Rei running in all directions (I can think of at least 7 off the top of my head) and being increasingly more annoying and inconsistent.

To go off on a tangent, what happened to Rei? Which is the real Rel? At the beginning of the series, Rei was a humble antiques dealer in the search of a steady flow of clients. She was modern, witty, independent, quick, and interesting. She also desperately wanted to fit in and be Japanese. Now, in this novel, she is a backwards (not familiar with anything current), whiny, and self-centered woman who is a living contradiction. (She portrays herself in a high and mighty fashion, but doesn't live it.) I understand that she struggles with her roots, but she is just presented as an immature woman whose attitude and personality changes like the wind. It just frustrates me because I just loved her in the beginning of the series, and now I can't stand her.

I actually feel like the Aunt actually overshadowed Rei because she was a much more interesting element in the story.

I have another gripe about this novel. The author tries to cram too much of a history lesson (in which the accuracy is up for debate) into the story, and fails to follow through and make it a significant part of the story. It was as if she was trying to shove in as much shocking moments of Eastern history as she could. It would have been a great mystery plot without all the excess bunk thrown in. I know it's possible. It was masterfully done and enriched the story in The Floating Girl (the 4th novel).

This novel was okay, and did have specks of the brilliance of the earlier novels in the series. If you did like this novel, I do recommend reading The Salaryman's Wife, Zen Attitude, and The Floating Girl. In my opinion, they were brilliant and the best of the series.

Additional Notes: The Pearl Diver is the 7th book in the "Rei Shimura Mysteries" series by Sujata Massey.

Additional Notes: This novel contains sexual themes and situations.

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