Mon January 3, 2011
Book Nook: The Man with the Baltic Stare, James Church
North Korea has been in the news quite a bit recently. It could be the most mysterious country in the world. James Church knows North Korea quite well. He has been there on numerous occasions.
A few years ago he decided to write a series of detective novels that are set in this isolated land. This series features Inspector O, a North Korean detective who has served with the Ministry of People's Security. As "The Man with the Baltic Stare" opens we find Inspector O has retired to a remote mountain top where he lives alone surrounded by the forest that he loves so much. But not for long.
O is summoned to Pyongyang to work on a strange new case that might involve members of North Korea's government and possibly, espionage.
James Church has written a fascinating novel here. In my interview with Church we talked about how he got the idea for these books and how he became so familiar with North Korea. James Church is not his real name. Church, a former intelligence officer, writes under a pseudonym to protect his true identity.