A Corpse in the Koryo (Inspector O Novels, Book 1) (Library Edition) [James Church, Feodor Chin] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. A Corpse in the Koryo has ratings and reviews. Kemper said: Read it quick before North Korea decides you can’t!Kim Jong-il wasn’t just anothe. On the surface, “A Corpse in the Koryo,” by James Church, is a crackling good mystery novel, filled with unusual characters involved in a.

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A Corpse in the Koryo – James Church

A Corpse in the Koryo by James Church. Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review ‘s biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers.

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The complete review ‘s Review:. A Corpse in the Koryo is set in contemporary North Korea, the central character an Inspector O who describes himself as: O had a famous grandfather, who raised him, and is unmarried and in his mid-fifties; he works in the capital of Pyongyang.

The story opens with him on an unusual assignment: It doesn’t go well: Unfortunately, however, there are others interested in his assignment, as he finds a Captain Kim “from joint headquarters” and “Deputy Director Kang from the Investigations Department” waiting for him along with his boss, Chief Inspector Pak, when he gets back from his failed mission.


A Corpse in the Koryo : NPR

O has no idea what they want from him, but clearly he’s waded into something; he can also tell that Kim and Kang are apparently not exactly on friendly terms and each has their own agenda. As to what those agendas may be, he can’t even begin to guess; in ultra-secretive North Korea it’s almost impossible to ever know what’s going on anyway.

The story is, in fact, largely presented in terms of a sort of flashback, as there are also chapters set in Prague, where O is briefing an Irishman, a Western secret agent, about what happened; why he is doing so only becomes clear at the end, but some of what happens is revealed early on — like the fact that Kang ended up dead.

O moves in the murky waters that is North Korean life, where there is little privacy — his apartment has frequently been searched, telephone calls are routinely listened in on, etc. Kang, in particular, keeps crossing his path. Sent north, near to the Chinese border, O finds himself in considerably more lawless territory — and in the middle of a big and dangerous mess.

The murder of a foreign national in the Koryo Hotel back in Pyongyang is an assignment more befitting his position, but of course it’s also connected with what he corrpse himself in the middle of. Needless to say, too, murder investigations of the North Korean-variety are hampered by all sorts of issues — there’s no crack C.


A Corpse in the Koryo

Church plays with North Korean secrecy quite well, but the opacity of it all can get quite tiresome, especially when there are so many chance or not quite chance encounters with people who know just a little more than O does.

It is also is a bit hard to credit that quite so much carnage coorpse the bodycount here is pretty high — can pass quite this unremarked upon by the general population or that the carnage can be quite so quickly tidied up.

O’s maneuvering through this murk and carnage — as well as the occasional knock-out blow is quite engaging, but there’s a bit too much reliance on greater powers that be and ultimately not quite enough excitement. Quite well written, and suggesting some of vorpse life in North Korea might be like, A Corpse in the Koryo is a decent mystery, but a bit on the dull side.

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