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The Joy Brigade (Hardcover)
Martin Limón writes a series that cannot be compared to any other on-going series. With his two 8th Army cops stationed in South Korea, his stories inevitably swirl with a lively mix of politics, culture, crime, military, civilian and how people are caught in between the seems of it all. Whereas all of his earlier books are stories of crime - or, as George and Ernie are cops, perhaps 'police procedurals' - his new book The Joy Brigade, is a step to the side. George is on his own, sent into North Korea, on a secret mission. What's the mission? I'm gonna tell you!
What it involves are rumors of ancient, hidden tunnels that run North to South, tunnels that may allow invasion in either direction. Of course, George's superiors are concerned with what the North is doing. Or is planning.
Martin set his series in the 1970s which allows him to take the books out of current politics and events and locks it more so into the Cold War, when the pressures around the globe, and not just along the DMZ, are higher as are the risks. That setting serves him well as the 70s were a time of transition in North Korea and Martin is able to use that to propel the story. What, really, are these mysterious people just to the North up to? George is sent in to find out.
Along the way, he'll re-unite with the lost love of his life, Doc Yong, and the beautiful, violent and insidious Rhee Mi-Sook of the North Korean secret police. Or is she??? And then, too, there are the members of The Joy Brigade itself.
Espionage, thriller, suspense, romance, hope and despair - all drive Limón's new book, The Joy Brigade. A slight departure for this great series, and a terrific step it is.— JB
In this pulse-racing ninth adventure, Sergeant George Sueno heads north of Korea's DMZ on a mission to prevent war between the Communist North and the American-allied South.
Seoul, early 1970s: US Army Sergeant George Sueno is on a mission of extreme importance to the South Korean government, as well as the US Army. Kim Il-Sung has vowed to reunite North and South Korea into one country before he hands control of the government over to his son, which means North Korea is planning to cross the DMZ and overpower the American-allied South Korean government. Sueno's mission is to prevent this by sneaking into North Korea and obtaining an ancient map detailing the network of secret tunnels that run underneath the DMZ. To do so, he will have to go undercover and infiltrate the North Korean Communist inner sanctum.
Aware of the often dubious nature of the US Military's tactics, Sueno is skeptical about his assignment. But he has other things on his mind. The keeper of the map is Doc Yong, a former lover of Sueno's who was forced to flee South Korea the year before and she has a son. Before they can be happily reunited, the plan falls to pieces, and Sueno is captured. Can he rely on the enigmatic Hero Kang, his sole contact in the hostile country? Will the lovely Rhee Mi-Sook, the leader of the North Korean secret police, be too much to handle? And who are the mysterious group of women known as the Joy Brigade?
About the Author
Martin Limonretired from military service after twenty years in the US Army, including ten years in Korea. He is the author of numerous books in the Sueno and Bascom series, including theNew York TimesNotableJade Lady Burning, Slicky Boys, The Iron Sickle, Nightmare Range, andThe Ville Rat. He lives near Seattle."
“Limon delivers all the thrills and intrigue a story like this promises, as well as a look at North Korea during the period.“
Praise for the George Sueno series
"This series is a must not only for procedural fans but also for anyone who enjoys crime fiction set in distinctive international locales."
—Booklist, Starred Review
"Excellent.... A vivid view of Asia, from the Demilitarized Zone to the Yellow Sea, and an insightful look at the era."
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review