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Download The Hell Screen Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Hell Screen Audiobook, by I. J. Parker Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (171 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: I. J. Parker Narrator: Roy Vongtama Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Sugawara Akitada Series Release Date: October 2008 ISBN: 9781415955444
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Eleventh-century Japan: after a difficult but successful assignment as provisional governor of Eichigo, Akitada Sugawara is finally allowed to return to Heian Kyo. But instead of a triumphant homecoming accompanied by his beautiful wife and young son, Akitada must ride ahead of his entourage to the sickbed of his dying mother. Fading light and a steady downpour interrupt his journey, forcing him to take refuge in a temple where a brilliantly illustrated hell screen and a piercing cry disturb his restless sleep.

Upon his arrival, Akitada finds his mother, sick and bitter, cursing his return, while his youngest sister, Yoshiko, forsakes her own happiness to serve as the old woman’s nurse and maid. Only his sister Akiko seems fortunate—married to a wealthy nobleman, Toshikage, and expecting their first child. But appearances prove to be deceptive, for it is not long before Akitada is asked to help clear his brother-in-law’s name. In the course of his investigation Akitada learns that his night at the temple was disturbed by more than a terrible scream. A woman has been murdered, and because of his reputation for detective work, Akitada must solve another mystery. Personal and professional interests begin to merge as Akitada becomes ensnared in a tangled web of deceit and malevolence that will, in the end, strike very close to home.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Fascinating historical detail and well-drawn characters distinguish Shamus-winner Parker's second Japanese mystery…Readers will be enchanted by Akitada, an honorable sleuth who proves more progressive than his time.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Parker has crafted another exotic and compelling mystery…This intriguing combination of history and suspense is distinguished by a wealth of authentic cultural detail.”

    Booklist

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ed Schwartz | 10/21/2013

    " Akitada's adventures come closer to home than any of the other books, which makes for an exciting ending! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Debby | 1/23/2013

    " Another murder mystery solved by Akitada Sugawara and we learn more about Akitada's family life - an interesting glimpse at life in 11th century Japan. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Staci | 12/30/2012

    " When I read this I didn't know it was part of a series. The book stood well on it's own. I loved the twists and turns in the plot. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alana | 12/4/2012

    " Another great one, Sugawara. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Craig | 10/30/2011

    " Not quite as good as the first in the series - a few too many plotlines for the author to carry off successfully without them getting in each other's way. Still pretty good. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 5/14/2011

    " Medieval Japanese mystery series. More engaging than I expected - possibly because there was nothing screamingly medieval about it to someone unfamiliar with Japanese history and technology pre-1900. (It's all swords, horses, and koi until about 1910, as far as I'm concerned.) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Will | 2/16/2011

    " I enjoyed this good historical mystery. Ms. Parker really puts the reader into 8th century Japan. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne | 12/10/2010

    " Japan "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rejane | 4/20/2010

    " Lu en francais sous le titre: L'enigme du paravent des enfers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Josh | 3/29/2010

    " a bit better than the first one "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kenny | 3/28/2010

    " Excellent. I am looking forward to the next in the series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patrick | 2/20/2010

    " Another good one in this series. A bit more disturbing in the details of the crime, but the characters get more richly detailed. A few plot twists are a little obvious but the story still moves well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Staci | 10/7/2009

    " When I read this I didn't know it was part of a series. The book stood well on it's own. I loved the twists and turns in the plot. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patrick | 11/29/2008

    " Another good one in this series. A bit more disturbing in the details of the crime, but the characters get more richly detailed. A few plot twists are a little obvious but the story still moves well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Will | 8/25/2008

    " I enjoyed this good historical mystery. Ms. Parker really puts the reader into 8th century Japan. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Debby | 3/30/2008

    " Another murder mystery solved by Akitada Sugawara and we learn more about Akitada's family life - an interesting glimpse at life in 11th century Japan. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diane | 2/3/2008

    " Set in feudal Japan, a member of the royal court is tasked with solving a murder which takes place within the palace walls.

    It's a fascinating look into that era, rich with details of court life and the lives of the commoners. "

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About the Author
I.J. Parker was born and educated in Europe and turned to mystery writing after an academic career in the U.S. She has published in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, winning the short story Shamus award in 2000. The Akitada series, about an eleventh century Japanese nobleman/detective, now consists of fourteen titles plus a short story collection. The books are available in print, audio format, and on Kindle and are translated into twelve languages.