The Man with the Baltic Stare
An Inspector O Novel
By James Church
(Minotaur Books, Hardcover, 9780312372927, 288pp.)
Publication Date: August 17, 2010
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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From the author of the critically acclaimed Inspector O series comes 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.
JAMES CHURCH (pseudonym) is a former Western intelligence officer with decades of experience in Asia.
Praise for The Man with the Baltic Stare:
“The central character is a Pyongyang police officer, the likeable Inspector O, who knows that in North Korea mysteries are never solved, just absorbed into larger mysteries…. Mr. Church keeps his own counsel, so it is not known how he comes by his information, but the scenic details and atmospherics suggest more than a passing acquaintance with the realities of life in North Korea.” --The Economist
“Church once again shows an extraordinary ability to bring that enigmatic country to life, a feat made even more impressive by the wholly plausible near-future setting. Satisfied readers will hail Church as the equal of le Carré.” –Publishers Weekly, starred review"Each Inspector O novel is a strange new trip through the looking glass, and this one is every bit as praiseworthy as its predecessors." --Booklist, starred review “While publishers comb the fjords for the next Stieg Larsson, readers devoted to bleak international noir would do better to turn their attention from Northern Europe to Asia. North Korea, to be exact. The hero of The Man With the Baltic Stare, the fourth and perhaps last in a series of excellent crime novels following Inspector O, might not know how to use the cell phone he sometimes has to carry. But like Larsson's heroine, a petite Asperger-ish libertarian in the land of large blondes and big government, the self-contained Inspector O bucks the stereotypes that we associate with his country.” --Slate.com