Inspector O Novels

James Church introduces readers to one of the most unique detectives to appear on page in years---the elusive Inspector O. This mystery series brings readers into the enigmatic world of North Korea, as Inspector O finds himself tangled in conspiracies and cover-ups. The series includes the novels A Corpse in the Koryo, Hidden Moon, Bamboo and Blood, and The Man with the Baltic Stare.

"A Corpse in the Koryo is a crackling good mystery novel, filled with unusual characters involved in a complex plot that keeps you guessing to the end."--Glenn Kessler, The Washington Post 

BOOKS IN THIS
SERIES

A Drop of Chinese Blood
A Drop of Chinese Blood
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James Church’s Inspector O novels have been hailed as “crackling good" (The Washington Post) and “tremendously clever” (Tampa Tribune), while Church himself has been embraced by critics as “the equal of le Carré” (Publishers Weekly, starred).  Now Church—a former Western intelligence officer who pulls back the curtain on the hidden world of North Korea in a way that no one else can—comes roaring back with a new novel introducing Inspector O’s nephew, Major Bing, the long-suffering chief of the Chinese Ministry of State Security operations on the border with North Korea.

 

The last place Bing expected to find the stunningly beautiful Madame Fang—a woman Headquarters wants closely watched—was on his front doorstep.  Then, as suddenly as she shows up, Madame Fang mysteriously disappears across the river into North Korea, leaving in her wake both consternation and a highly sensitive assignment for Bing to bring back from the North a long missing Chinese security official.  Concerned for his nephew’s safety, O reluctantly helps him navigate an increasingly complex and deadly maze, one that leads down the twisted byways of O’s homeland. In the tradition of Philip Kerr's Berlin Noir trilogy, and the Inspector Arkady Renko novels, A Drop of Chinese Blood presents an unfamiliar world, a perplexing universe where the rules are an enigma to the reader and even, sometimes, to Inspector O.  Once again, James Church has crafted a story with beautifully spare prose and layered descriptions of a country and a people he knows by heart.

 
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Inspector O Novels

James Church

St. Martin's Press

James Church’s Inspector O novels have been hailed as “crackling good" (The Washington Post) and “tremendously clever” (Tampa Tribune), while Church...

Buy
The Man with the Baltic Stare
The Man with the Baltic Stare
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From James Church, the author of the critically acclaimed Inspector O series, comes The Man with the Baltic Stare--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, 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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Inspector O Novels (Volume 4)

James Church

St. Martin's Press

From James Church, the author of the critically acclaimed Inspector O series, comes The Man with the Baltic Stare--another riveting novel set in the mysterious world of North Korea Autumn...

Buy
Bamboo and Blood
Bamboo and Blood
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The critically acclaimed A Corpse in the Koryo brought readers into the enigmatic workings of North Korean intelligence with the introduction of a new kind of detective---the mysterious Inspector O. In the follow-up, Hidden Moon, O threaded his way through the minefield of North Korean ministries into a larger conspiracy he was never supposed to touch.

Now the inspector returns . . .

In the winter of 1997, trying to stay alive during a famine that has devastated much of North Korea, Inspector O is ordered to play host to an Israeli agent who appears in Pyongyang. When the wife of a North Korean diplomat in Pakistan dies under suspicious circumstances, O is told to investigate, with a curious proviso: Don’t look too closely at the details, and stay away from the question of missiles. O knows he can’t avoid finding out what he is supposed to ignore on a trail that leads him from the dark, chilly rooms of Pyongyang to an abandoned secret facility deep in the countryside, guarded by a lonely general; and from the streets of New York to a bench beneath a horse chestnut tree on the shores of Lake Geneva, where the Inspector discovers he is up to his ears in missiles---and worse. Stalked by the past and wary of the future, O is convinced there is no one he can trust, and no one he can’t suspect. Swiss intelligence wants him out of the country; someone else wants him dead.

Once again, James Church’s spare, lyrical prose guides readers through an unfamiliar landscape of whispered words and shadows, a world wrapped in a level of mystery and complexity that few outsiders have experienced. With Inspector O, noir has a new home in North Korea, and James Church holds the keys.


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Inspector O Novels (Volume 3)

James Church

St. Martin's Press

The critically acclaimed A Corpse in the Koryo brought readers into the enigmatic workings of North Korean intelligence with the introduction of a new kind of detective---the mysterious...

Buy
Hidden Moon
Hidden Moon
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In A Corpse in the Koryo, James Church introduced readers to one of the most unique detectives to appear on page in years---the elusive Inspector O. The stunning mystery was named one of the best mystery/thrillers of 2006 by the Chicago Tribune for its beautifully spare prose and layered descriptions of a terrain Church knows by heart.

And now the Inspector is back.

In Hidden Moon, Inspector O returns from a mission abroad to find his new police commander waiting at his office door. There has been a bank robbery---the first ever in Pyongyang---and the commander demands action, and quickly. But is this urgency for real?  Somewhere, someone in the North Korean leadership doesn’t want Inspector O to complete his investigation. And why not? What if the robbery leads to the highest levels of the regime? What if power, not a need for cash, is the real reason behind the heist at the Gold Star Bank?

Given a choice, this isn’t a trail a detective in the Pyongyang police would want to follow all the way to the end, even a trail marked with monogrammed silk stockings. “I’m not sure I know where the bank is,” is O’s laconic observation as the warning bells go off in his head. A Scottish policeman sent to provide security for a visiting British official, a sultry Kazakh bank manager, and a mournful fellow detective all combine to put O in the middle of a spiderweb of conspiracies that becomes more tangled, and dangerous, the more he pulls on the threads.

Once again, as he did in A Corpse in the Koryo, James Church opens a window onto a society where nothing is quite as it seems. The story serves as the reader’s flashlight, illuminating a place that outsiders imagine is always dark and too far away to know. Church’s descriptions of the country and its people are spare and starkly beautiful; the dialogue is lean, every thought weighed and measured before it is spoken. Not a word is wasted, because in this place no one can afford to be misunderstood.

 

Critical Acclaim for A Corpse in the Koryo

A Corpse in the Koryo  is a crackling good mystery novel, filled with unusual characters involved in a complex plot that keeps you guessing to the end.”

---Glenn Kessler, The Washington Post

 

“The best unclassified account of how North Korea works and why it has survived . . . This novel should be required bedtime reading for President Bush and his national security team." ---Peter Hayes, executive director of the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development

 

“A new offering that reminds you of why you started reading mysteries and thrillers in the first place.”

---Chicago Tribune

 

“What's perhaps most remarkable---and appealing---about A Corpse in the Koryo is the tremendously clever complexity (and deceptions) of the plot. The reader is left to marvel at the author's ability to keep his readers on their intellectual toes for almost three hundred pages. We can only hope that Church has many more novels up his sleeve.”

---Tampa Tribune

 

“An impressive debut that calls to mind such mystery thrillers as Martin Cruz Smith’s Gorky Park.”

---Publishers Weekly (starred review)

 

 

“In Inspector O, the author has crafted a complex character with rough charm to spare, and in eternally static North Korea, he has a setting that will fascinate readers for sequels to come.”

---Time magazine (Asia edition)


[tagline] => [type] => Fiction [featured] => [rating] => 3.66 [edition] => [pages] => 304 [cd_run_time] => 0 [illustrations_note] => [primary_format] => [date] => Array ( [__className] => DateTime [date] => 2007-10-30 00:00:00 [timezone_type] => 3 [timezone] => America/Chicago ) [sale_date] => Array ( [__className] => DateTime [date] => 2010-04-01 00:00:00 [timezone_type] => 3 [timezone] => America/Chicago ) [keywords] => Hidden Moon James Church James Church Hidden Moon An Inspector O Novel Hidden Moon James Church Hidden Moon Hidden Moon Church, James Church James Church 9781429936729 In A Corpse in the Koryo, James Church introduced readers to one of the most unique detectives to appear on page in years---the elusive Inspector O. The stunning mystery was named one of the best mystery/thrillers of 2006 by the Chicago Tribune for its beautifully spare prose and layered descriptions of a terrain Church knows by heart. And now the Inspector is back.In Hidden Moon, Inspector O returns from a mission abroad to find his new police commander waiting at his office door. There has been a bank robbery---the first ever in Pyongyang---and the commander demands action, and quickly. But is this urgency for real?  Somewhere, someone in the North Korean leadership doesn’t want Inspector O to complete his investigation. And why not? What if the robbery leads to the highest levels of the regime? What if power, not a need for cash, is the real reason behind the heist at the Gold Star Bank?Given a choice, this isn’t a trail a detective in the Pyongyang police would want to follow all the way to the end, even a trail marked with monogrammed silk stockings. “I’m not sure I know where the bank is,” is O’s laconic observation as the warning bells go off in his head. A Scottish policeman sent to provide security for a visiting British official, a sultry Kazakh bank manager, and a mournful fellow detective all combine to put O in the middle of a spiderweb of conspiracies that becomes more tangled, and dangerous, the more he pulls on the threads. Once again, as he did in A Corpse in the Koryo, James Church opens a window onto a society where nothing is quite as it seems. The story serves as the reader’s flashlight, illuminating a place that outsiders imagine is always dark and too far away to know. Church’s descriptions of the country and its people are spare and starkly beautiful; the dialogue is lean, every thought weighed and measured before it is spoken. Not a word is wasted, because in this place no one can afford to be misunderstood.  Critical Acclaim for A Corpse in the Koryo “A Corpse in the Koryo  is a crackling good mystery novel, filled with unusual characters involved in a complex plot that keeps you guessing to the end.”---Glenn Kessler, The Washington Post “The best unclassified account of how North Korea works and why it has survived . . . This novel should be required bedtime reading for President Bush and his national security team." ---Peter Hayes, executive director of the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development “A new offering that reminds you of why you started reading mysteries and thrillers in the first place.”---Chicago Tribune “What's perhaps most remarkable---and appealing---about A Corpse in the Koryo is the tremendously clever complexity (and deceptions) of the plot. The reader is left to marvel at the author's ability to keep his readers on their intellectual toes for almost three hundred pages. We can only hope that Church has many more novels up his sleeve.”---Tampa Tribune “An impressive debut that calls to mind such mystery thrillers as Martin Cruz Smith’s Gorky Park.” ---Publishers Weekly (starred review)  “In Inspector O, the author has crafted a complex character with rough charm to spare, and in eternally static North Korea, he has a setting that will fascinate readers for sequels to come.”---Time magazine (Asia edition) FICTION / Thrillers / General Minotaur Books Inspector O Novels Inspector O Novels [contributors] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [id] => 6016-1-914 [order] => 1 [note] => James Church [contributor_id] => 914 [contributor] => Array ( [contributor_id] => 914 [name] => James Church [seo] => jameschurch [sensitivity] => ) ) ) [series] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [id] => 189-6016 [number_in_series] => 2 [series] => Array ( [id] => 189 [name] => Inspector O Novels [seo_name] => inspectoronovels ) ) ) [prices] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [id] => USD-6016 [locale] => USD [amount] => 9.95 ) ) [formats] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [id] => DG6016 [format_id] => MEBB [seo_link] => hiddenmoon [format] => Array ( [code] => MEBB [name] => e-Book ) [isbn] => Array ( [id] => 6016 [isbn] => 9781429936729 [edition] => [hide] => [title] => Hidden Moon [primary_format] => ) ) ) [publisher] => Array ( [id] => 2 [name] => St. Martin's Press [seo_name] => st-martins-press ) )

Inspector O Novels (Volume 2)

James Church

St. Martin's Press

In A Corpse in the Koryo, James Church introduced readers to one of the most unique detectives to appear on page in years---the elusive Inspector O. The stunning mystery was named...

Buy
A Corpse in the Koryo
A Corpse in the Koryo
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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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Inspector O Novels (Volume 1)

James Church

St. Martin's Press

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...

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