A Corpse in the Koryo (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Macmillan, Oct 17, 2006 - Fiction - 288 pages
92 Reviews
Against the backdrop of a totalitarian North Korea, one man unwillingly uncovers the truth behind series of murders, and wagers his life in the process.
Sit on a quiet hillside at dawn among the wildflowers; take a picture of a car coming up a deserted highway from the south. Simple orders for Inspector O, until he realizes they have led him far, far off his department’s turf and into a maelstrom of betrayal and death. North Korea’s leaders are desperate to hunt down and eliminate anyone who knows too much about a series of decades-old kidnappings and murders---and Inspector O discovers too late he has been sent into the chaos.
This is a world where nothing works as it should, where the crimes of the past haunt the present, and where even the shadows are real. A corpse in Pyongyang’s main hotel---the Koryo---pulls Inspector O into a confrontation of bad choices between the devils he knows and those he doesn’t want to meet. A blue button on the floor of a hotel closet, an ice blue Finnish lake, and desperate efforts by the North Korean leadership set Inspector O on a journey to the edge of a reality he almost can’t survive.
Like Philip Kerr’s Berlin Noir trilogy and the Inspector Arkady Renko novels, A Corpse in the Koryo introduces another unfamiliar world, a perplexing universe seemingly so alien that the rules are an enigma to the reader and even, sometimes, to Inspector O. Author James Church weaves a story with beautifully spare prose and layered descriptions of a country and a people he knows by heart after decades as an intelligence officer. This is a chilling portrayal that, in the end, leaves us wondering if what at first seemed unknowable may simply be too familiar for comfort.
  

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3 stars
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Interesting insight into North Korea. - Goodreads
At times I found the plot a bit confusing. - Goodreads
A unique police procedural set in North Korea. - Goodreads
However, it has a slow, complicated plot. - Goodreads
The writing is about on par with Raymond Chandler. - Goodreads

Review: A Corpse in the Koryo (Inspector O #1)

User Review  - Steve Rooney - Goodreads

I really wanted to like this book. I was very intrigued at the concept of a detective novel set in North Korea. However, it has a slow, complicated plot. I still don't know exactly what happened or ... Read full review

Review: A Corpse in the Koryo (Inspector O #1)

User Review  - Anirban Das - Goodreads

A Corpse in the Koryo by James Church is the first in the series of crime novel featuring Inspector O, set in the totalitarian country of North Korea. The novels opens with Inspector O, handed with a ... Read full review

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
21
Section 3
51
Section 4
65
Section 5
77
Section 6
94
Section 7
135
Section 8
146
Section 10
175
Section 11
178
Section 12
203
Section 13
253
Section 14
261
Section 15
266
Section 16
281
Copyright

Section 9
159

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2006)

JAMES CHURCH is the pseudonym of 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.

Bibliographic information