Book: The Salaryman's Wife

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The Salaryman's Wife

Author: Sujata Massey
Publisher: HarperTorch

Japanese-American Rei Shimura is a 27-year-old English teacher living in one of Tokyo’s seediest neighborhoods. She doesn’t make much money, but she wouldn’t go back home to California even if she had a free ticket (which, thanks to her parents, she does.) Her independence is threatened however, when a getaway to an ancient castle town is marred by murder.

Rei is the first to find the beautiful wife of a high-powered businessman, dead in the snow. Taking charge, as usual, Rei searches for clues by crashing a funeral, posing as a bar-girl, and somehow ending up pursued by police and paparazzi alike. In the meantime, she manages to piece together a strange, ever-changing puzzle—one that is built on lies and held together by years of sex and deception.


The Salaryman’s Wife is proof that arts grants do occasionally produce good art. Sujata Massey taught English in Japan and worked as a reporter for the Baltimore Sun. She applied for and won the Malice Domestic Grant for Unpublished Writers, which allowed her to finish this beautifully crafted story of cross-cultural suspense.

Rei Shimura is a 27-year-old Japanese American English teacher, living precariously on her tiny paycheck in Tokyo, the most expensive city in the world. She’s determined not to use the plane ticket back to California offered by her parents. On a visit to the ancient castle town of Shiroyama, brought to such rich life that you’ll want to head there instantly, Rei gets involved in a local murder. Her probing angers the conservative police and most of the citizens, but Rei persists, in spite of threats to her life and freedom. Her character is so well conceived and her adventures so believable that readers across the world should identify with Rei—and hope for a second serving soon.

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