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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.
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By Darwin8u on 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.
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