December 29, 2006


Nuanced thriller also cracks the mysteries of North Korea: a review of "A Corpse in the Koryo" By James Church (Glenn Kessler, 12/29/06, Seattle Times)

On the surface, "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. It has received rave reviews — as a mystery novel.

But the book has also caused a stir among Asia specialists because it offers an unusually nuanced and detailed portrait of one of the most closed societies on Earth: North Korea. Much like Martin Cruz Smith's novel "Gorky Park," which depicted life in the Soviet Union in the early 1980s through the eyes of a police inspector, "A Corpse in the Koryo" provides a window into a mysterious country through the perspective of its primary character, Inspector O.

North Korea expert Peter Hayes, executive director of the research group Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development, described the novel as "the best unclassified account of how North Korea works and why it has survived all these years when the rest of the Communist world capitulated to the global market a decade ago."

"This novel should be required bedtime reading for President Bush and his national security team," Hayes said.

Inspector O Gets a Thermos (James Church, December 19th, 2006, Policy Forum)
Inspector O And The Case Of The Missing Tea Thermos (Peter Hayes, Policy Forum)

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 29, 2006 12:07 AM
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