James Church's Inspector O novels have been hailed as "crackling good" (The Washington Post) and "tremendously clever" (Tampa Tribune), while Church himself has been embraced by critics as "the equal of le Carré" (Publishers Weekly, starred). Now Church - a former Western intelligence officer who pulls back the curtain on the hidden world of North Korea in a way that no one else can - comes roaring back with a new novel introducing Inspector O's nephew, Major Bing, the long-suffering chief of the Chinese Ministry of State Security operations on the border with North Korea.
The last place Bing expected to find the stunningly beautiful Madame Fang - a woman Headquarters wants closely watched - was on his front doorstep. Then, as suddenly as she shows up, Madame Fang mysteriously disappears across the river into North Korea, leaving in her wake both consternation and a highly sensitive assignment for Bing to bring back from the North a long missing Chinese security official. Concerned for his nephew's safety, O reluctantly helps him navigate an increasingly complex and deadly maze, one that leads down the twisted byways of O's homeland.
In the tradition of Philip Kerr's Berlin Noir trilogy, and the Inspector Arkady Renko novels, A Drop of Chinese Blood presents an unfamiliar world, a perplexing universe where the rules are an enigma to the reader and even, sometimes, to Inspector O. Once again, James Church has crafted a story with beautifully spare prose and layered descriptions of a country and a people he knows by heart.
Click to the right or left of the sample to turn the page.
(If no book jacket appears in a few seconds, then we don't have an excerpt of this book or your browser is unable to display it)
The plot was all over the place, overly complicated, and did not come together in the end; and the new character, Major Bing, felt flat to me. I didn't find the mystery satisfying or interesting, and there wasn't nearly enough cultural or scenic description to overcome the not very exciting plot. I didn't get much of a sense of of atmosphere, which is bad news for a book marketed in the "noir" category. There were at least three separate long, pages long, conversations toward the close of the book, tying the loose threads together into something that made sense - but I found I simply didn't care by that point.
"Starred Review. Stellar... An intricate plot that ranks as one of Church's best... A satirical look at paranoid intelligence structures and the snappy, irreverent narration add to the fun." Publishers Weekly
"Church's elegant ambiguity and frequent digressions get a facelift with his new hero Bing's edgier first-person narrative, and he has great insight into Asian culture and politics. Casual readers, however, should be warned that the plot is tantalizingly complex." - Kirkus
The information about A Drop of Chinese Blood 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.
The Kopp Sisters Return!
One of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs returns in another gripping adventure based on fact.
Solve this clue:
and be entered to win..
Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.
Your guide toexceptional books
BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.