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Extended Audio Sample Bamboo and Blood, by James Church Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (185 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Church Narrator: Feodor Chin Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Inspector O Novels Release Date: June 2011 ISBN: 9781470802684
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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—but 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 uncovering 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 listeners 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.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Weaving headlines with his own knowledge of the back story of North Korea, Mr. Church is getting better and better at his new tradecraft.”

    Washington Times

  • “It’s no stretch to describe Church as a latter-day John le Carré.”

    Tampa Tribune

  • “Church once again does a brilliant job of portraying the dysfunctional, paranoid society of modern North Korea…While the espionage elements compel, the book’s main strength, as with its predecessors, derives from the small details that enable the reader to imagine life in North Korea—and from O’s struggles to maintain his principles and integrity.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Feodor Chin’s accomplished narration allows the plot to gently unfold. His authentic-sounding pronunciation of names and places, along with subtle characterization, helps listeners feel comfortable in an unfamiliar landscape and gives a convincing view of this closed society. Chin’s dry and steady reading allows the underlying humor to shine and helps make Inspector O a highly likable lead character.”

    AudioFile

  • “Gifted storyteller Church, who obviously has a vast insider’s knowledge of this mysterious country, leads the reader and Inspector O on a complex trail of misdirection and treachery. A third triumph for Church.”

    Library Journal

  • Bamboo and Blood, the third in this outstanding series, invites readers to take a step through the looking glass. Thoughtful crime fans will love what they find.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Former intelligence officer Church’s third Inspector O mystery, set a decade before the first two, finds the inspector no less acerbic and the author no more straightforward.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 james | 1/26/2014

    " This is another in the series about Inspector O, who is a dtective in North Korea, about which little is known outside that grim dictatorship. The author is supposedly a senior diplomat who has served in NK and other posts. There's a great picture of him on the back: it's a closup of him lighting a pipe with the flame obscuring his face. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Maria | 1/16/2014

    " Writing style is a quirky and plot is slow. Took a long time to finish "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 1/8/2014

    " I really enjoy this series; it is a well written glimpse into life in N. Korea. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tuck | 12/25/2013

    " i don't know, james church's novels just keep getting more and more weird and nightmarishly noir. i liked his first one best, "a corpse in the koryo", but then again, all are very compelling. i like his descriptions of the natural environment, people, and buildings better though. which may kind of defeat the point, as its all about what's inside his characters' heads. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Grace | 12/22/2013

    " Re-reading in January 2012. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bobbie | 12/17/2013

    " Convoluted, vague plot. No character development and no interestin local color. I was mostly bored. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margaret Dee | 11/29/2013

    " This is a wonderful series. David and I have read all of his books. It is sold under the mystery catagory but is so much more. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 11/29/2013

    " I liked this one better than the last. North Korean noir with wisecracking police Inspector O. This one was a lot funnier than I remember the others being, with a great running gag about ears throughout the novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christie | 11/2/2013

    " Good read! I'll want to track down other Inspector O books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cyndee | 4/8/2013

    " Intelligence officer James Church (a pseudonym) has written a real novel of intrigue and espionage. Inspector O is a marvelous character. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ellen | 2/22/2013

    " Inspector O #3 "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jane | 2/15/2012

    " While at times very clever, its convoluted, vague and overcomplicated plot put me to sleep every time I tried to read it! The olpt seemed almost pointless. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julia | 12/14/2011

    " A really interesting read if you like to learn about what life is like in North Korea. James Church makes you think as you read. You feel like a wind in blowing through your brain airing out the mold. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ted Kendall | 12/9/2011

    " I enjoy a good thriller or a good detective book. And sometimes a little depth makes them even better. The Inspector O books, this one included, combine well good spy thrillers and detective books, adding in some deep character and philosophical elements, without slowing down the story. I am hooked. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gaile Wakeman | 11/2/2011

    " What fun! a mystery set in North Korea--well written and provocative. I could give it a 4 star maybe. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessica | 10/4/2011

    " While Church certainly captures the North Korean atmosphere perfectly, the restrictions imposed by his commitment to that oblique and elliptical perspective keep the book from being as engaging as it might otherwise be. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sherelyn Ernst | 5/6/2011

    " I didn't read this book, I read A Corpse in the Koryu, but I enjoyed Corpse. Maybe I'll read this one too. I can't figure out how to delete this and put in the one I read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margaret Sankey | 4/5/2011

    " Amazing mystery series with a hero who is a North Korean secret police officer attempting to live and generally let live, within reason, within the superbyzantine world of Pyongyang bureaucracy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gaile | 3/21/2011

    " What fun! a mystery set in North Korea--well written and provocative. I could give it a 4 star maybe. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sherelyn | 7/31/2010

    " I didn't read this book, I read A Corpse in the Koryu, but I enjoyed Corpse. Maybe I'll read this one too. I can't figure out how to delete this and put in the one I read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cyndee | 7/21/2010

    " Intelligence officer James Church (a pseudonym) has written a real novel of intrigue and espionage. Inspector O is a marvelous character. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jane | 9/27/2009

    " While at times very clever, its convoluted, vague and overcomplicated plot put me to sleep every time I tried to read it! The olpt seemed almost pointless. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julia | 9/4/2009

    " A really interesting read if you like to learn about what life is like in North Korea. James Church makes you think as you read. You feel like a wind in blowing through your brain airing out the mold. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margaret | 3/7/2009

    " This is a wonderful series. David and I have read all of his books. It is sold under the mystery catagory but is so much more. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Maria | 2/27/2009

    " Writing style is a quirky and plot is slow. Took a long time to finish "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julia | 12/8/2008

    " Church does it again...this time the characters are even better developed and the plot flows more easily. He has found his voice as a novelist and is shaping up to be an incredibly gifted storyteller. "

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