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The Assassin's Touch

(Sano Ichiro #10)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  829 ratings  ·  32 reviews
It is a lost art, passed down by the ancients in great secrecy: Dim-mak. It is death, by the lightest touch of a finger. Sano Ichiro, tenuous in the new regime as the shogun’s second-in-command, does not have the luxury of skepticism?another senior official is dead, a fingerprint lightly glazed into his skin.
Sano’s wife Reiko has an investigation of her own: a beautiful,
Paperback, 368 pages
Published October 31st 2006 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published 2005)
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Showing 1-30
3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  829 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Lee Erin
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm beginning to get annoyed with Reiko. I used to like her tenacity but now I just think it's full on stubborness. She doesn't really think much about the people around her who could be affected by her actions. Let's see if there's still a redeeming quality to her once I've finished the book
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Chamberlain Sano and his wife Reiko share in the solving of mysterious murders among the newly established government ranks in the Edo shogunate. Twists and turns and the sleuthing work of the couple help to identify the various components of the tapestry of intrigue. Sano continues to be plagued by his detractors but moves forward nonetheless.
Jessica L Seay
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I love this book series. It got me back into reading again. I can never get enough of the adventures of Sano and Reiko.
Melvin Patterson
I first began reading the Sano Ichiro novels in the late 1990s. Laura Joh Rowland’s Japanese mystery books were well written and interesting. So I have to admit to a little bit of disappointment in this effort.

First let me point out the good things I liked about this book. I found the story an interesting page turner. Although the authors understanding of the delayed death touch is somewhat superficial it was nonetheless an engrossing mystery. I haven't kept up with the series since the first th
Feb 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Assassin’s Touch was my first experience with Laura Joh Rowland’s husband-wife detective team set in the era of Tokugawa Japan. At the point in the series where the events in Assassin’s Touch take place, the samurai husband has become Chamberlain Sano and his wife, Reiko, is the daughter of an influential magistrate. In fact, the transition between the samurai of action and Sano’s new station is well represented when we read early in the novel, “He reflected that the Tokugawa regime, which had ...more
Oct 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
I've been reading this series, off and on, for about ten years now and I can't help but wonder if ten years, a college degree, and my changes in reading interests and habits have given me fonder memories of this series than they deserve. Quite frankly, this is one of the worst books in the series and the few leading up to it weren't exactly much better. Was Shinju or Bundori this bad?

The author needs an editor, or at least, a new one. The book is written in cardboard sentences. Every sentence is
In the tenth book in the Sano Ichiro series, all our well-known characters are still adapting to the changes the recent civil disorder brought into their lives. Sano, the new Chamberlain, is overworked and bored. Reiko is underworked and bored. Hirata, who is now the shogun's sosakan-sama, is still recovering from his near-fatal wounding and his weakness frustrates him. So when a series of deaths seem to threaten Lord Matsudaira's new order and a murder among the city's outcast population poses ...more
Feb 02, 2009 rated it liked it

This book intrigued me as far as doing a bit more reading about dim-mak. It seems that the verdict is out...often used in film and cartooms, there seems to be less consensus around it being actually used. I may do a bit more reading and see if I can find some other written material that is not web based. At any rate, of course, Sano does his wife in a knock down -dray out. A bit different in some ways than others she the 2 of them each pursue their own line of inquiry t
Tama Wise
Dec 27, 2008 rated it did not like it
A friend recommended me this one as a short, quick, trashy read. Actually, she warned me about the bad editing as well, and boy is this thing trashy. It took me a bit to realize that the scene changes in the middle of conversations were the authors way of changing characters POV.

Didn't like the fact there was so little description either. I never really got more than a cardboard feeling for the characters, some of which I really detested. At some points, they kept breaking my impression they wer
Dec 30, 2014 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the characters and the historical backdrop of this book, but did not find the story very engaging.

However, I would like to make a comment on the formatting and editing of the e-book version I read. I was disappointed to find so many typos in a book released by a major publisher. It looked to me as of they took a printed copy and used optical character reading software to convert the text into digital and failed to proof the digital text afterward. A simple spell-check of the resulting
Dec 28, 2007 rated it really liked it
Ah! Another book in Laura Joh Rowland's mystery series starring Sano Ichiro, a detective in feudal Japan. I love this series and was really excited when I found out this book was coming out. :) Rowland uses the conventions of feudal Japanese society to increase the suspense in her novels. She explains potentially unfamiliar conventions of that culture without setting the story aside for the "okay now I'm going to explain things" paragraph or two. Explanations are expertly woven into the story an ...more
Aug 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
Sano Ichiro, chamberlain to the Shogun, is tasked with investigating the murder of a high official that may hint at a plan to bring down the regime. This book is similar to others in the series. Sano must investigate an unusual murder, and failure has dire consequences to a samurai of the Shogunate. The book has more details on this period of Japan, and also introduces information on the Hinin and dim mak. A worthwhile read despite the length and sameness of this series. This book was a more int ...more
Kemi looves 2 read
Sep 18, 2009 rated it it was ok
The book is set in medieval times - I'm going to guess 16th or 17th century Japan. While I am a self confessed history buff, the authour stretched out the plot a wee bit. Some as aspects of the Japanese culture were "over described", drawn out and drew attention away from the interaction of the characters and how the story line came together. A few words I picked up - palanquin, dim-mak, doshin, bushido, daimyo. If you are into martial arts, the stuff from "crouching tiger, leaping dragon", you ...more
Sep 01, 2008 rated it did not like it
Kind of interesting story, but the writing is so juvenile that when my friend asked for the copy back to pass on, I did not even care enough to finish it (even after getting 2/3 of the way through) and gave it back. The author seems to think her audience are cultural philistines, explaining such basic aspects of Japan as to be insulting. Years ago I think I tried to read another of her books, and came away with a similar opinion. There are much better alternatives for almost any aspect of these ...more
May 07, 2011 rated it liked it
The beginning was quite slow, but the finale made up for that. It was another great case for Sano.

But I think I will never really like Reiko ... she is just too much of a nuisance... why can't she understand that her actions can do more harm than good sometimes? Well I guess she learned her lesson in the end, even though it was the hard way for her to learn it :/ I hope she's not that annoying in the next book again because I thought she was a much better character in the previous book.

Another solid entry, but nowhere near among the best in the series. THE ASSASSIN'S TOUCH is a fast, fun read, but people of a mind to be critical will find it highly contrived. The villain's quasi-mystical skills in the martial arts strain credulity, making this one of Rowland's less believable mysteries. However, anyone who enjoys watching ninjas get up to some crazy shenanigans will eat up this novel like a plate of sushi.
Davis Davis
Jul 20, 2010 rated it it was ok
I expected this to be a fun, trashy read, but it was pretty dull and uninspiring. The characters were paper thin, the action was plodding, and none of the descriptions of feudal Japan were very vibrant or interesting. Also, the characters seemed extremely Western in their thoughts and speech. I was looking forward to getting into this series but I think I'll try another route.
Serge Pierro
Aug 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Another one of the better stories in the series. The world that Rowland has built is solid at this point, and the reader can just read the story for what it is. The characters have become more interesting, though if you are not a fan of feudal Japan, the story and characters could start to get a bit boring at this point of the series.
Some things didn't sit well with me. Would someone call himself "I'm the shogun's sosakan-sama"? Reiko's decision in the last face-off with Yugao was beyond stupid (and she was supposed to be smart). And the last banter between Reiko and Sano was plain disgusting.

Still I have to read this series...
Mar 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
A murder mystery set in Shogun Japan. Great period detail on clothing, society, and more. Highly recommended.
Sep 22, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Mystery lovers
Another great read from Ms. Rowland about a murder mystery based in feudal Japan. Easy to read and get into the story.
Dec 29, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
17th Century Japan. Sano and Reiko at it again. I liked the mystical elements of this one.
Cindi (cheesygiraffe)
Jan 31, 2008 rated it liked it
I cannot help it, I just enjoy this Japanese Mystery series.
Jacque wong
May 28, 2008 rated it liked it
I found this to be rawer and more real than previous sano ichiro mysteries. A fascinating glimpse into Japanese 16th century Shogun culture and the curious martial art of the 'death touch".
Feb 12, 2011 rated it liked it
I like this series. I came late to the party but am not reading straight. I'm not sure why but I need a breather between stories.
Dec 02, 2007 rated it really liked it
This is the 10th book in the Sano Ichiro series.
May 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: detective-crimes
Another good story. Japan at that time seemed like a terrible place to live --so many rules and so demanding and treacherous, but I suppose the world in general was a lot tougher then.
Sep 21, 2010 rated it liked it
Japanese history & suspense, no mystery. Not best of series.
Feb 10, 2012 rated it did not like it
This book revolves around dim mak (deadly touch) with which many were killed without unknown reason.. Sano ( the hero) finds it out... The book was not so boring.. Still ok :)
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Granddaughter of Chinese and Korean immigrants, Laura Joh Rowland grew up in Michigan and where she graduated with a B.S. in microbiology and a Master of Public Health at the University of Michigan. She currently lives in New Orleans with her husband. She has worked as a chemist, microbiologist, sanitary inspector and quality engineer.

Other books in the series

Sano Ichiro (1 - 10 of 18 books)
  • Shinju (Sano Ichiro, #1)
  • Bundori (Sano Ichiro, #2)
  • The Way of the Traitor  (Sano Ichiro, #3)
  • The Concubine's Tattoo (Sano Ichiro, #4)
  • The Samurai's Wife (Sano Ichiro, #5)
  • Black Lotus (Sano Ichiro, #6)
  • The Pillow Book of Lady Wisteria (Sano Ichiro, #7)
  • The Dragon King's Palace (Sano Ichiro, #8)
  • The Perfumed Sleeve (Sano Ichiro, #9)
  • Red Chrysanthemum (Sano Ichiro, #11)