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ALL SHE WAS WORTH by Miyuki Miyabe

ALL SHE WAS WORTH

By Miyuki Miyabe (Author) , Alfred Birnbaum (Translator)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 4-7700-1922-X
Publisher: Kodansha

 In preparation for his marriage to Shoko Sekine, Jun Kurisaka urges her to apply for a credit card in her own name. But when the application comes back refused, with a notation that all the major credit companies have blacklisted the applicant because of the consumer debt that led to her bankruptcy back in 1987, Shoko stammers, blanches, and next day runs out on her fiancÇ. Why did she act so shocked? Jun asks his uncle, Shunsuke Honma, a Tokyo homicide inspector conveniently on sick leave with a bullet wound. Honma's reluctant conclusion: because Shoko didn't know about her own bankruptcy--because she wasn't really Shoko Sekine at all but an impostor who'd assumed her identity. But this answer leaves Honma with a dozen more disturbing questions. How could an impostor have known enough about Shoko to take over her life so easily? If she knew her so well, why didn't she know about the bankruptcy? What's become of the real Shoko- -and of the woman who just stepped out of her shoes as lightly as she stepped into them three years ago? And answering these questions will put sedate Honma in turn in the impostor's shoes, as he backtracks on her trail and uncovers a dark parable of Japan's frantic race toward an Americanized consumer economy. Miyabe's first English translation was named Best Mystery of 1992 in Japan. Fans of Ross Macdonald and Julian Symons will have no trouble seeing why.