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A Corpse in the Koryo (Inspector O, #1)
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March 2016: Mystery Thriller > The Corpse of the Koryo by James Church - 3 Stars

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 Olivermagnus (lynda214) | 1954 comments A Corpse in the Koryo is the first book in the Inspector O series. Inspector O is a North Korean police officer silently railing against the system, yet forced to do just enough to keep himself out of a prison camp. Inspector O is first sent on a mysterious job where he is told to photograph a car coming out of a tunnel, when and if that car ever appears. Fast forward to the discovery of an unidentified man with false Finnish identification papers, found at the Koryo, the main luxury hotel in Pyongyang. Every intelligence agency seems interested in this man. Inspector O never knows who he can trust but he's pretty sure he can trust no one. The story is told in alternating chapters of Inspector O's investigation and thoughts and an ongoing conversation between Inspector O and Western intelligence agent, Richie Molloy.

I thought I would like this book more than I actually did. I was interested in reading a mystery set in North Korea. I really did enjoy the wit of Inspector O. He's a rebel who often “forgets” to wear his Leader pin and he's been known to leave notes for the Secret Police to “be neater” next time they ransack his room. His now-deceased grandfather provides an interesting back story about the inspector as a boy.

The negatives of the book include a messy and complicated plot that seemed redundant in many places. It's not a traditional mystery but more of an espionage novel. A Corpse in the Koryo was a very complex novel to grasp but I enjoyed the character enough to commit to one more book in the series.


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Anita Pomerantz | 6299 comments Olivermagnus wrote: "he's been known to leave notes for the Secret Police to “be neater” next time they ransack his room"

I love little details like this . . .I always thought it would be interesting to keep a little diary of the unique quirks of literary characters. Some authors come up with great ones.

Otherwise, this book doesn't sound up my alley with it's redundant and complicated plot.


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Sushicat | 804 comments I started this last year, but got sidetracked.


 Olivermagnus (lynda214) | 1954 comments Sushicat wrote: "I started this last year, but got sidetracked."

I thought I would like it better than I did but I am going to read another and see if I am interested in pursuing it further.


Michael (mike999) | 569 comments I've enjoyed one of this series and appreciate both your ambivalence and intention to try more. I just love mysteries set in exotic locations.


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