Against the backdrop of a totalitarian North Korea, one man unwillingly uncovers the truth behind series of murders, and wagers his life in the process.
Sit on a quiet hillside at dawn among the wildflowers; take a picture of a car coming up a deserted highway from the south. Simple orders for Inspector O, until he realizes they have led him far, far off his department's turf and into a maelstrom of betrayal and death. North Korea's leaders are desperate to hunt down and eliminate anyone who knows too much about a series of decades-old kidnappings and murders - and Inspector O discovers too late he has been sent into the chaos.
This is a world where nothing works as it should, where the crimes of the past haunt the present, and where even the shadows are real. A corpse in Pyongyang's main hotel---the Koryo---pulls Inspector O into a confrontation of bad choices between the devils he knows and those he doesnt want to meet. A blue button on the floor of a hotel closet, an ice blue Finnish lake, and desperate efforts by the North Korean leadership set Inspector O on a journey to the edge of a reality he almost cant survive.
Like Philip Kerr's Berlin Noir trilogy and the Inspector Arkady Renko novels, A Corpse in the Koryo introduces another unfamiliar world, a perplexing universe seemingly so alien that the rules are an enigma to the reader and even, sometimes, to Inspector O. Author James Church weaves a story with beautifully spare prose and layered descriptions of a country and a people he knows by heart after decades as an intelligence officer. This is a chilling portrayal that, in the end, leaves us wondering if what at first seemed unknowable may simply be too familiar for comfort.
"Starred Review. Despite the exotic setting, Hammett and Chandler would have had no problem appreciating this hard-boiled narrative." - Publishers Weekly.
"Starred Review. The writing is superb, too, well above the level usually associated with a first novel, richly layered and visually evocative." - Booklist.
"Starred Review ..... an outstanding crime novel. . . . a not-to-be-missed reading experience." - Library Journal.
"Church uses his years of intelligence work to excellent advantage here, delivering one duplicitous plot twist after another. Though often understated, the author's affection for the landscape and people of Korea is abundantly evident." - The Washington Post.
"The pseudonymous Church, himself a former intelligence officer, doesn't believe in linear plotting but is an admirable stylist." - Kirkus Reviews.
The information about A Corpse in the Koryo shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.
James Church (a pseudonym) is a former Western intelligence officer with decades of experience in Asia. He has wandered through Korea for years. No matter what hat he wore, Church says, he ran across Inspector O many times.
Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!
Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only
The Angel of Losses
"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist
Solve this clue:
and be entered to win..
Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.
Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.