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Publisher's Summary

From the author of the critically acclaimed Inspector O series comes another riveting novel set in the mysterious world of North Korea.

Autumn brings unwelcome news to Inspector O: he has been wrenched from retirement and ordered back to Pyongyang for a final assignment. The two Koreas, he learns, are now cooperating—very quietly—to maintain stability in the North. Stability requires that Inspector O lead an investigation into a crime of passion committed by the young man who has been selected as the best possible leader of a transition government. O is instructed to make sure that the case goes away. Remnants of the old regime, foreign powers, and rival gangs all want a piece of the action, and all make it clear that if O values his life, he will not get in their way. O isn’t sure where his loyalties lie, and he doesn’t have much time to figure out whether ’tis better to be noble or be dead.

Crack another case with Inspector O.
©2010 James Church (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“Inspector O is called out of retirement to investigate a murder in Macao. Eventually it becomes clear that the job is not to solve the crime, but to obscure it. This is a police procedural North Korea style—fully inverted. It’s not what you do that lets you get by in North Korea, it’s what you don’t do.” (The Economist)

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  • Darwin8u
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 05-23-13

Redeemed Backslider Returns to CHURCH.

Church FINALLY fixed his pacing problem with 'the Man with the Baltic Stare'. This novel was a lot better than 'Bamboo and Blood'. It may even be better than his first one (although 'Corpse in the Koryo' gets originality points). Anyway, it redeemed the Inspector O series for me.

Church is as strong a writer as Olen Steinhauer, just working a different geography. All the blurbing, however, about how he is the next le Carré is about 20+ amazing books premature. I don't think ANYONE will be the next le Carré . I'm not even sure if le Carré would be capable now of being the next le Carré .

But, head back to Church (no more le Carré backsliding today). I think this novel was more confident, less messy, and reminded me of why I started reading Church in the first place. I guess I'm going to have to read Johnson's 'Orphan Master's Son' now just to get North Korea out of my blood.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful