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by James Church

eBook Bamboo and Blood: An Inspector O Novel download ISBN: 0312372914
Author: James Church
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; 1st edition (November 25, 2008)
Language: English
Pages: 294
ePub: 1537 kb
Fb2: 1500 kb
Rating: 4.8
Other formats: azw mobi lrf rtf
Category: Mystery
Subcategory: Mystery

James Church’s Bamboo and Blood is one of the most unusual detective novels you’ll ever come across.

James Church’s Bamboo and Blood is one of the most unusual detective novels you’ll ever come across. Opening in a frigid North Korean winter in 1997, the story revolves around the hapless Inspector O and his unhappy boss, Chief Inspector Pak of the Ministry of Public Security, described in the novel as the police. Kim Jong-Il stepped into his father’s shoes as dictator upon the old man’s death only three years earlier, and the Communist Party and the Army are still vying for ascendancy in the power dynamics of the North Korean state.

St. Martin’s Minotaur New York. This is a work of fiction. Bamboo and blood: an Inspector O novel, James Church. 1st ed. p. cm. ISBN-13: 978-0-312-37291-0. All of the characters, organizations, and events portrayed in this novel are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. An imprint of St. Martin’s Press. Printed in the United States of America. For information, address St. Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, .

Once again, James Church’s spare, lyrical prose guides readers through an unfamiliar landscape of whispered words and shadows, a. .With Inspector O, noir has a new home in North Korea, and James Church holds the keys.

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. Отзывы - Написать отзыв. Пользовательский отзыв - smik - LibraryThing. This book and I didn't easily rub shoulders. I found the "sparse, lyrical prose" hard to read and the action hard to sort out. Eventually, just over half way through, things began to jell,.

Bamboo and Blood book. James Church's third Inspector O novel just doesn't quite deliver the goods. James Church’s Bamboo and Blood is one of the most unusual detective novels you’ll ever come across. It starts out fine, blending Hard-boiled noir (Hammett/Chandler) with international political thriller (le Carré/Steinhauer) all mixed with a bit/dash of Hemingway. Where Hemingway was fixated on food, wine and women, Church fixates on lack of food, the cold and wood.

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Плоская или скатная крыша?

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James Church introduces readers to one of the most unique detectives to appear on page in years--the elusive Inspector O.The series includes the novels A Corpse in the Koryo, Hidden Moon, Bamboo and Blood, and The Man with the Baltic Stare

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. 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. g. The Gentleman from Japan. Inspector O Novels (Volume 6) James Church St. Martin's Publishing Group.

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James Church is the pseudonym of the author of five detective novels featuring a North Korean policeman, "Inspector O". Church is identified on the back cover of his novels as "a former Western intelligence officer with decades of expe. Church is identified on the back cover of his novels as "a former Western intelligence officer with decades of experience in Asia". He grew up in the San Fernando Valley in the United States, and was over sixty years old in 2009.

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.

Comments: (7)
Connorise
James Church’s Bamboo and Blood is one of the most unusual detective novels you’ll ever come across. Opening in a frigid North Korean winter in 1997, the story revolves around the hapless Inspector O and his unhappy boss, Chief Inspector Pak of the Ministry of Public Security, described in the novel as the police. Kim Jong-Il stepped into his father’s shoes as dictator upon the old man’s death only three years earlier, and the Communist Party and the Army are still vying for ascendancy in the power dynamics of the North Korean state. Meanwhile, the most brutal famine in the country’s history is underway: “classes were held only sporadically, with so many teachers too weak or tired to lecture, and the students too hungry to concentrate. . . Pyongyang was awash in rumors, most of them true, about how conditions in the countryside had fallen apart. We were ripe for something, I just didn’t know what.”

An investigation rife with uncertainty and confusion

Like the two novels that preceded it in the Inspector O series, the dominant theme in Bamboo and Blood is ambiguity. Characters, roles, circumstances — everything is awash in confusion and uncertainty. When Inspector O is assigned to investigate the circumstances of a young woman’s murder — in Pakistan? the U.S.? somewhere else: it’s unclear — he discovers that her personnel file has disappeared. He picks up hints of her life from a friend at the university and from the woman’s father, a retired air force general. But there’s no proof that she was murdered, much less where the alleged event took place.

Meanwhile, Inspector O’s investigation is interrupted when he receives unwanted orders to meet a foreigner at the airport and escort him around Pyongyang for the duration his stay. The foreigner may be Swiss or Hungarian, he may be Jewish, even possibly Israeli. The murder investigation is sidetracked as Inspector O’s life comes to be dominated by the unpredictable actions of the foreigner.

When a high-ranking Party official orders him to fly to Geneva to observe North Korea’s negotiations with the United States, probably having something to do with missiles, it’s a certainty that the foreigner will turn up again. And even though this appears to be clear, there are other surprises in store, as two mysterious individuals from O’s past turn up in the course of his work. Unlike its two predecessors in the series, Bamboo and Blood goes overboard on the confusion and uncertainty. The novel would be more rewarding to read if at least a few things were much clearer.

The great North Korean famine

It is historical fact that Kim Jong Il, father of North Korea’s current dictator, Kim Jong-Un, was named Leader in 1994. (He remained in the post until his death in 2011.) The economic crisis that began in the final years of the dictatorship headed by their father and grandfather, Kim Il-Sung, lasted for the four-year period 1994-98. In its wake came a severe and widespread famine that killed an enormous number of North Korean citizens, estimated at anywhere from 240,000 to 3,500,000. (The country’s population was then around just 22 million.) Wikipedia describes the causes of the famine as follows: “Economic mismanagement and the loss of Soviet support caused food production and imports to decline rapidly. A series of floods and droughts exacerbated the crisis. The North Korean government and its centrally-planned system proved too inflexible to effectively curtail the disaster.”

About the author

James Church is the pen name of a man described as “a former Western intelligence officer” with intimate knowledge of Asia. Asian specialists who have read any of the five novels in the Inspector O series have praised the nuanced pictured he paints of life under the North Korean dictatorship.
Kulalbine
Another thrilling Kafkaesque detective novel. The background of the macro events in North Korea have a strong affect on the story this time around. I enjoyed the international flavor of this one, but the surrounding characters towards the last third of the book lead the story into farcical territory. While it was still enjoyable, I felt it to be a bit off tonally from the rest of the book and the two that preceded it. When in North Korea, it makes sense that motives and intent are constantly obscured or evaded. That setting and the accompanying reality set an almost natural bizarre atmosphere. Once outside those borders, it seems like Church is twisting the plot into knots to make things just as opaque, with every character coming in and out of contact as if they are waiting in the wings of the stage. I'm hoping next time Church manages to get back to what made the first two books so compelling without needing to resort to stretching credulity to do it.
Fast Lovebird
I enjoyed this book. I read it pretty much all in one sitting, and I wasn't a bit sorry that I did. At the same time I had nagging dislikes for the book. Chiefly I thought it was contrived - albeit very well contrived.The action takes place in a North Korea that exists solely in the author's mind, I felt; and this is not even to mention the scenes in a Bond-sish/noir-ish Switzerland that I lacked faith in as well. Nonetheless I avidly kept turning the pages - or tapping the kindle, as it were. This book is tightly and rather implausibly plotted, another defect that hindered my enjoyment of it only barely.

The charm of detective novels set in exotic locales, such as John Burdett's Sonchai Jitpleecheep in Bangkok, Qiu Xiaolong's Inspector Chen in Shanghai, Tarquin Hall's Vish Puri in Delhi, or Martin Cruz Smith's Arkady Renko in Russia, is the feeling that, in the process of unfolding the mystery, one learns something true about the novels' settings. I have reason to believe that Qiu Xiaolong's Shanghai is accurately portrayed: He's from there. Neither Burdett nor Hall are natives, but they claim long and deep familiarity with the places where they set their stories. I don't know about Smith. But most importantly these authors' portrayals of Bangkok, Delhi, or Soviet/post-soviet Russia have verisimilitude -whatever their objective accuracy. Verisimilitude is exactly what Church's North Korea utterly lacks, and disbelief is only tenuously and brokenly suspended.

Bottom line: I probably won't read another Inspector O novel, though I don't absolutely preclude that. Instead, I recommend the authors I listed in the paragraph above. I you have already read them, then - what the heck - give Inspector O a go.
Thabel
More international flavor than in the first two Inspector O books. I was left wondering, however, about the numbering of this book series. In Book 1 (A Corpse in Koryo) Inspector O has a boss named Mr. Pak. At the end of the book Mr. Pak is killed. In Book 2 (Hidden Moon) a new boss, Mr. Min, has replaced Mr. Pak. But in Book 3 we have Mr. Pak resurrected again as Inspector O's boss. Strange! Did Amazon, the author or the publisher change the numbering of these books? Was this Book 3 (Bamboo and Blood) the original Book 1 in the series? Something funny is going on here, as the Inspector would say. It will be interesting to buy Book 4 and see who's the boss there.
Iraraeal
I love these books and I wish there were more of them! The main character and his world are fascinating. I have read all of the books in this series and highly recommend them to mystery fans and those curious about North Korea and what it may be like to live there - this is fiction, but judging by the news, there is some truth here too. It is a world so different that it may as well be on another planet. The Inspector's constant search for a simple cup of tea is a kind of "inside joke" without really being all that funny. It will also make you appreciate the many things those of us in most of the rest of the world take for granted, like that simple cup of tea.