The latest addition to my website is Masahiko Shimada‘s 雁 (夢使い (Dream Messenger). This one could have been a good book but did not work for me, not least because the characters were flat, the story dragged on and it all seemed unconvincing. The story tells of Miko Amino, a super-rich widow, who wants to find her only son, taken from her by his father and who has since disappeared. She hires a former beauty queen and current securities analyst to track him down, with the help of her slave, a former successful young adult novelist. We learn that the son, Masao, had been rented out by an a New York-based agency that rented out children to childless families and had since gone on, as an adult, to be a gofer/gigolo/rent-a-friend, a phenomenon apparently not unknown in Japan. Masao had moved from New York and was living in Tokyo, doing more or less the same thing, aided by his guardian angel/alter ego, Mikanaito, who could enter other people’s dream, hence the title. Certainly, it was an interesting idea but it just did not work for me.