South Korea, 1974: A young Korean woman is found strangled to death on the frozen banks of the Sonyu River with only a carefully calligraphed poem on her person. Sergeants George Sueño and Ernie Bascom, agents in the US Eighth Army CID, are called in by the formidable KNP detective Gil Kwon-up to investigate. As they begin to investigate, George and Ernie come into direct contact with the US Army's Second Infantry Division, a disciplined and often brutal force.
The attack was a complete surprise, carefully planned and clinically executed. How did this unidentified Korean civilian get into the tightly controlled base? And why attack the claims officer? Is there an unsettled grudge, a claim of damages that was rejected by the Army? Against orders, CID agents Sergeants George Sueño and Ernie Bascom start investigating. Somehow, each person they speak to has not yet been interviewed.
On a crowded train from Pusan to Seoul, the brutal rape of a young mother sparks rage on the powder-keg peninsula of Korea, pitting Koreans against Americans and the 8th Army brass against the truth. Eyewitness accounts indicate the culprit was most likely a U.S. serviceman, but by the time Sergeants George Sueño and Ernie Bascom, U.S. Army investigators, are called in, the rapist has disappeared and anti-American fervor in this proud Asian country is threatening to explode.
"Excellent military police procdural."
Twenty years ago Martin Limón published his first mystery featuring Sergeant George Sueño, a young Mexican American army detective stationed on the US Eighth Army base in South Korea in the early 1970s, the heart of the Cold War. George and his investigating partner, the rowdy and short-fused Sergeant Ernie Bascom, are assigned cases in which the Eighth Army has come into conflict with local Korean law enforcement - often incidents in which American soldiers, who are not known for being on their best behavior in their Asian host country, have committed a crime.