The Joy Brigade
A George Sueño and Ernie Bascom Mystery by Martin Limón
Review: Martin Limón's eighth mystery set in Korea during the early 1970s, The Joy Brigade, focuses its attention on the actions of one of its regular series characters, Army Criminal Investigation Division agent George Sueño, who is sent undercover across the DMZ into hostile North Korea.
The North's Great Leader, Kim II-Sung, has vowed to reunite the two nations under a single rule, that of his son. The South, and its ally the US, have learned that the plan includes an invasion from the North via a vast network of natural caverns and waterways that crisscross under the DMZ, which have been supplemented by a man-made tunnels. It is critical that the South have a map of the potential route … and Sueño is assigned the task of getting it. His contact in the North is a man named Hero Kang, someone he does not know, indeed has never even met; a code word would be all they have to verify each other's identity. Complicating the mission: Sueño's former lover, who fled to the North the previous year with their son, is in possession of the map. Disguised as a Hungarian military officer, Sueño makes his way across the border but is soon recognized and captured. With all hope fading, Sueño must depend on people whose actions he cannot trust and whose loyalties he does not know.
This is a terrific series of historical mysteries, and The Joy Brigade is a very good entry in it … though Ernie Bascom is sorely missed; the dynamic between to the two men is one of the hallmark features of the series. The storyline is fairly straightforward, but the path taken by the characters is anything but. The emotional, and really quite thrilling, rollercoaster ride that George Sueño takes on his journey is shared with the reader from start to finish.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of The Joy Brigade.
Acknowledgment: Soho Press provided an ARC of The Joy Brigade for this review.
Review Copyright © 2012 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Soho Crime (Hardcover), December 2011
ISBN-13: 9781569479346; ISBN-10: 1569479348
Soho Crime (Hardcover), September 2013
ISBN-13: 9781616953324; ISBN-10: 1616953322
Location(s) referenced in The Joy Brigade: South Korea
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The Joy Brigade by Martin Limón — A George Sueño and Ernie Bascom Mystery
Publisher: Soho Crime
Publication Date: July 2012
List Price: $25.00
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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