By James Church
"On the skin, A Corpse within the Koryo is a crackling sturdy secret novel, jam-packed with strange characters curious about a posh plot that retains you guessing to the end."---Glenn Kessler, The Washington Post One of Publishers Weekly most sensible a hundred Books of 2006One of Booklist's top style Fiction of 2006One of the Chicago Tribune's most sensible mystery/thrillers of 2006 Sit on a quiet hillside at sunrise one of the wildflowers; take an image of a vehicle arising a abandoned road from the south. easy orders for Inspector O, till he realizes they've got led him a long way, faraway his department's turf and right into a maelstrom of betrayal and loss of life. North Korea's leaders are eager to seek out and get rid of a person who is familiar with an excessive amount of a few sequence of decade's-old kidnappings and murders---and Inspector O discovers too overdue he has been despatched into the chaos. this can be a international the place not anything works because it should still, the place the crimes of the prior hang-out the current, and the place even the shadows are actual. writer James Church weaves a narrative with fantastically spare prose and layered descriptions of a rustic and a humans he is familiar with through center after many years as an intelligence officer. ". . . a very good crime novel. . . . a not-to-be-missed studying adventure. " ---Library magazine (starred) "Inspector O is totally plausible and sympathetic . . . The writing is great, too . . . richly layered and visually evocative."---Booklist (starred) ". . . a powerful debut that calls to brain such secret thrillers as Martin Cruz Smith's Gorky Park. . . ." ---Publishers Weekly (starred)
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Pak hummed to himself, a folk tune about a young couple separated by a river no one could bridge. They would have drowned themselves, but before things got that far, Pak turned to me, speaking quietly. " "Close enough. " I didn't say anything. Pak coughed, another nervous habit. He lowered his voice another notch. " "A picture. " "That's what I figured, he was the one who wanted the picture. Those types are never happy, you know that. Happiness doesn't sit well with their sort of noxious purity.
These two, whatever they were doing in Pak's office, were pulling against each other. " Kim picked up the camera. Unlike Kang's, his hands were calloused and hard. Not from helping farmers but from breaking bricks and boards. Maybe bones, though I wasn't going to ask. Kim's voice emerged from inside a dark cave, where even simple questions were mauled and came out nasty. "How do we know you didn't fail to take the picture on purpose? " My voice got an edge to it sometimes when it shouldn't, and this was one of those times.
No pictures," I said. "Battery's dead. " I flashed Kim a grin meant to suggest we were about to share something that would amuse him, but his little eyes stayed metallic, and I could sense he only laughed when he was the one making the joke. Off to the side, I could see Pak bracing himself. " The man next to Kim sat back and folded his arms. " Before I could reply, Pak took my elbow and walked me to the door. " I recognized the tone of voice. It was like the tip of a whip being dragged slowly back along the floor, just before it cracked through the air.