Mariko would never forget where she was when she heard the news.
Steve Bein writes:
There are those events in life that make such a deep impression that you’ll never forget where you were when they happened. Some are personal (my memory of the moment I learned about my first published story is nearly perfect, all the way down to how cloudy it was and how much sunlight was in the room), while some are so large that they define the experience of a generation.
It’s too bad that those generation-shaping moments are often tragic. Everyone of my parents’ generation can tell you exactly where they were when they heard about the assassination of JFK. Everyone of my generation can tell you where they were when the Challenger exploded. Everyone older than ten can tell you where they were on 9/11.
The first sentence of Disciple of the Wind was born out of a conversation I had with my brother the day after 9/11. I was living in Honolulu at the time, so because of the time difference, by the time I got out of bed all four planes had crashed. I’d gone to sleep in a nation at peace and I woke up in a nation under attack. My brother was living in Chicago, and heard all the events unfold one by one. There was a terrible aviation accident in Manhattan. No, not an accident; another plane went down. Then a third. Then a fourth. No one knew how many more there would be.
What my brother and I talked about was whose experience was worse? I don’t know that we ever came to an answer; the two experiences were so different. Reflecting on it now, I find it strange that I can remember the conversation so clearly, yet I can’t remember what conclusion we came to. But the fact that it stuck with me all these years is what inspired the opening pages of Disciple of the Wind.
No spoiler here: right from the first chapter, Tokyo is under assault. One explosion could have been an accident; the second one makes it a pattern. Mariko Oshiro, the only female detective in Tokyo’s top police unit, knows exactly who carried out the attack. She’s arrested him before: Jōko Daishi, leader of the Divine Wind. His cult has attempted terrorist attacks before; this time, Mariko failed to stop them.
She knows more about Jōko Daishi than any other cop in the city, but she’s never been able to watch her tongue. When she pisses off her commanding officer, she loses her badge. Now she faces an awful choice: her surest bet for stopping the Divine Wind is to abandon all the values she holds dear, join forces with a criminal syndicate, and become a killer herself.
From there I’ll just say things get a lot worse for her—and for Tokyo—before they get better. If you like police thrillers, I think this book is for you. If you like to see characters push the boundaries of their own morality, and venture into gray areas where you might be able to keep track of right and wrong, then this book is definitely for you.
About the author:
Steve Bein (pronounced “Bine”) is a philosopher, photographer, traveler, translator, martial artist, and award-winning author of science fiction and fantasy. His short fiction has appeared in Asimov’s, Interzone, Writers of the Future, and in international translation. His first novel, Daughter of the Sword, was met with critical acclaim, and his second novel, Year of the Demon, was named one of the top five fantasy novels of 2013 by Library Journal. Steve’s newest book, Disciple of the Wind is in stores now, and his new novella, Streaming Dawn, is available now for your e-reader. You can find his work at Powell’s, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Audible.
Steve lives in Austin, Texas. Please keep up with him on Facebook at facebook/philosofiction and on Twitter @AllBeinMyself. Appearances, publishing news, photos, links, and more can all be found at http://www.philosofiction.com.
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