The Ville Rat: Book summary and reviews of The Ville Rat by Martin Limon

The Ville Rat

A Sergeants Sueño and Bascom Novel

by Martin Limon

The Ville Rat by Martin Limon X
The Ville Rat by Martin Limon
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  • Published Oct 2015
    288 pages
    Genre: Mysteries

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Book Summary

How much can murder, and silence, buy on the black market of 1974 South Korea?

South Korea, 1970s: A young Korean woman dressed in a traditional chima-jeogori is found strangled to death on the frozen banks of the Sonyu River with only a carefully calligraphed poem in her sleeve. George Sueño and Ernie Bascom, sergeants in the US 8th Army CID, are called in by the formidable KNP detective Gil Kwon-up to investigate. George and Ernie's job is to liaise with Korean law enforcement on matters that may involve or implicate 8th Army American servicemen.

But as they learn about the case, George and Ernie realize this isn't their jurisdiction - the nearby village of Sonyu-ri is occupied by the US Army's 2nd Infantry Division, a disciplined and often brutal force that won't stand for outside officers questioning its men. All that George and Ernie are able to glean before being kicked out of town is that they are close to the truth - and that a mysterious smuggler, known locally as "the Ville Rat," holds the key to the woman's murder.

Luckily, the pair is officially assigned another investigation in the area, which allows them to continue nosing around for answers. They are to elucidate the circumstances of a shooting incident between a young African American private and his white supervising chief. Racial tensions run high, and George and Ernie must tread carefully to solve both cases. But they aren't exactly known for going out of their way to avoid stepping on US Army toes, and this is no exception.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Pulse-pounding... This police procedural, with its unusual locale, admirable protagonists, and well-developed plot, stands as a superior entry in a consistently impressive series." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Often praised for his knowledge of Korean society and culture and the massive footprint of the U.S. Army on Korea, Limón has an outstanding series going, and this one may be the best installment yet." - Booklist

"Sueño and Bascom's ninth appearance has vivid characters, and its searing portrait of the sins of our recent past bids fair to transcend the genre." - Kirkus

This information about The Ville Rat was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Martin Limon Author Biography

Martin Limón retired from military service after twenty years in the US Army, including ten years in Korea. He is the author of twelve previous Sueño and Bascom investigations: Jade Lady Burning, Slicky Boys, Buddha's Money, The Door to Bitterness, The Wandering Ghost, GI Bones, Mr. Kill, The Joy Brigade, The Iron Sickle, The Ville Rat, Ping-Pong Heart, and The Nine-Tailed Fox, as well as the short story collection Nightmare Range. He lives near Seattle.

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