Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
Set on the fictional San Piedro Island in the northern Puget Sound region of the state of Washington coast in 1954, the plot revolves around a murder case in which Kabuo Miyamoto, a Japanese American, is accused of killing Carl Heine, a respected fisherman in the close-knit community. Carl's body had been pulled from the sea, trapped in his own net. His water-damaged watch had stopped at 1:47. The trial occurs in the midst of deep anti-Japanese sentiments following World War II. Covering the case is the editor of the town's one-man newspaper, Ishmael Chambers, a World War II veteran who lost an arm fighting the Japanese. Torn by a sense of hatred for the Japanese, Chambers struggles with his love for Kabuo's wife, Hatsue, and his conscience, wondering if Kabuo is truly innocent.