Blue Light Yokohama
Review by Brenda Repland
Inspector Iwata is a man with a tortured past. He cannot sleep and is haunted by a song, “Blue Light Yokohama.”
He has just been reinstated to the Homicide Division and transferred to a Tokyo precinct. Filling the position of the previous detective who has committed suicide, he is not all that welcome. Even his newly assigned partner would rather work with someone else.
He is assigned to the case his predecessor was working – that of an entire family murdered with no motive and strange clues -- a drawing of a black sun; black smudges and a peculiar incense smell.
As Iwata investigates, he realizes that this is not an isolated crime. He must learn what the clues symbolize and solve the case before (what he thinks is) the serial killer strikes again.
But his efforts are hindered by his superiors who – for various reasons – are trying to remove him from the case.
The Beautiful Country
The Middle Kingdom
America and China
1776 to the Present
Review By Brenda Repland
In Chinese, the word for America is “The Beautiful Country,” (mei guo) and for China is “Middle Kingdom.”
This fascinating history of the relationship between China and America describes how the two countries have been engaged directly since the early days of the USA. From early commerce partners trading American ginseng for Chinese tea; Christian missionaries determined to “save” China; Chinese laborers building the American West; US alliance in World War II to the current “issues” in the South China Sea.
This engagement is not widely publicized. It has involved successes and many disappointments. The two countries have often reneged on promises and disappointed each other leading to greater differences.
This history, which should be mandatory reading for anyone seeking to understand China’s motives, will surprise you and shine a light on the very complicated scenario that is US-China relations.