James Church Books In Order

Publication Order of Inspector O Books

A Corpse in the Koryo (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hidden Moon (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Bamboo and Blood (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Man with the Baltic Stare (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Drop of Chinese Blood (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

James Church is the pseudonym used by the author who has written the highly acclaimed detective novel series, ‘Inspector O’. Author James Church hails from the United States of America and has written all his novels in the Mystery genre. The Inspector O series written by James is based on the life of the main protagonist with the same name. The author has described the character as a dedicated North Korean policeman. On the back cover of the novels of the series, James has introduced himself as a former intelligence officer from the West, who has more than 10 years of experience of working in Asia. James was born and brought up in the San Fernando Valley in USA and is currently aged 66. The novels in the Inspector O series have been very well received all over the world, especially in Asia, where it was noted by the specialists as a collection of unusually nuanced and a completely detailed portrait of the society in North Korea. The first novel of the series was praised by a Korean society panel for depicting the real situation present in Korea at that time. The novel was also praised for showcasing the suffocating atmosphere prevalent in the totalitarian state. The depiction of Inspector O as the main protagonist in the series was compared to the protagonist Arkady Renko by several panelists as well as The Washington and The Independent Post’s reviewers. Protagonist Arkady Renko was depicted as the chief inspector of the Soviet nations by author Martin Cruz in his highly successful novel series Gorky Park. The comparison between Inspector O and chief inspector Arkady Renko was made by the reviewers because of the similarity in the works of their authors in trying to display a vivid window into their respective mysterious countries.

Author James has used his experience as a veteran intelligence officer very well to describe the settings of the plot of the novels in the series. The detailed descriptions of the Korean society by him show that he has intimate knowledge about the life and politics of Asia. The setting of the North Korean atmosphere is done in a palpable and real manner by James. The daily lives the people of North Korea suffering under the rule of the totalitarian government has been displayed by James with specific and minute details, and with wide social and political depictions in the series. The writing style of the author James Church has been praised by the reviewers for being superb and keeping the readers interested in the stories of the novels of the series. The readers, even found the writing style of James to be visually evocative and richly layered. The novels written by James in the series show the troubled society of North Korea, which is nowhere close to what it seems. The stories of the novels have served as flashlights for the readers and helped them to illuminate their knowledge about the place which was usually considered as dark and way too far by the outsiders. The description of the country of North Korea and its people by author James seems quite spare and interestingly beautiful. The dialogues written by him are pretty much lean and show that James has given a lot of thought for writing even a single word of the novels. He has measured and weighed every thought before writing them down. The readers found the novels of the series to be quite intriguing and they did not feel that any word of the novels is a waste because of the vivid description of the situation and lives of the people in North Korea.

The Inspector O series written by James Church consists of a total of 5 mystery novels published between the years 2006 and 2012. The first novel of the series was titled ‘A Corpse in the Koryo’ and was published by the Minotaur Books publishing house in the year 2006. The novel is set in the democratic republic of North Korea. The plot of the novel opens up with Inspector O, who realizes that he has been stuck in the difficult world full of betrayals and deaths. He is required to deal with the unjust rulers of North Korea who do not hesitate even for once in order to hunt down and kill anyone, who they think knows something about the age old kidnappings and murders. After gaining some information about the situation in North Korea, Inspector O comes to know that he has been sent into a country full of chaos everywhere. He finds out that nothing happens according to the law and order in the country, and the criminal activities keep rising tremendously, most of them being related to the past crimes. Inspector O discovers a dead body in hotel Koryo, the main hotel in Pyongyang. The investigations related to the corpse confront Inspector O with a series of bad choices that take him to the devils of the country whom he does not wish to meet. He is required to quickly find the reason behind the killing and their possible relation to the leadership of the country before the killers come behind him and pose a threat to his life for investigating against them.

The second novel of the series was published by the Minotaur Books publishing house in the year 2007. The novel was titled ‘Hidden Moon’, in which the main protagonist Inspector O is once again depicted to be going on a mission. He is asked to investigate about the first ever bank robbery in Pyongyang and his commanding officer demands him to take a quick action in the case and catch the robbers. However, Inspector O faces difficulties in the process of his investigations as someone in the leadership of North Korea does not want him to find the robbers and the bank’s robbed money. He begins to suspect that the robbery might have been carried out in order to take control of power by the leaders of the country by using the robbery of Gold Star Bank as a heist. Inspector O is forced to get entangled in a spider web of conspiracies by one of the Scottish policeman, the bank manager and one of his fellow detectives. The situation becomes highly dangerous for him to survive and he is required to find the real reason behind the robbery before the leaders of North Korea frame him in an even more entangled spiderweb.

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