American translator Ruth Bennett peels back layers of haunting secrets in a revered kimono dynasty. “I jostled her shoulder and noticed when I did that her skin was cold to the touch, her entire torso was covered in tattoos of kimono motifs.”This ghastly scene was the last thing Ruth Bennett expected to encounter when she agreed to translate a novel by a long-forgotten Japanese writer. Returning to her childhood home in Kyoto had promised safety and solitude, but Ruth soon finds the storyline in the novel leaking into her everyday life. Fictional characters turn out to be frighteningly real. Using her intimate knowledge of both kimono and Kyoto, Ruth must confront a vicious killer along with her own painful family secrets.