A George Sueño and Ernie Bascom Mystery by Martin Limón
Review: US Army investigators George Sueño and Ernie Bascom are assigned to investigate the rape — possibly by an American serviceman — of a young mother on the Blue Line express train from Pusan to Seoul in Mr. Kill, the seventh mystery in this historical series set in 1970s South Korea by Martin Limón.
The engineer of the Blue Train had radioed that a young female with two small children had reported that she had been threatened with a knife and raped by a "foreigner". The most likely foreigners on the train were American soldiers, G.I.s who fell under the jurisdiction of the 8th US Army. Working with the Chief Inspector of the Korean National Police Gil Kwan-up, known to one and all as "Mr. Kill", Sueño and Bascom begin an investigation for one of their own.
From a whodunit perspective, Mr. Kill is quite good. Sueño and Bascom begin by eliminating anyone who couldn't possibly have committed the crimes — another rape occurs in a Seoul hotel by, presumably, the same man … and later murder — focusing on the few that are viable suspects. But one by one they, too, are all cleared leaving the pair with nothing to go on. Where did they go wrong?
One of the primary reasons this series is so enjoyable is the exceptional team of George Sueño and Ernie Bascom. Individually they have their own appeal — and each is given their own "story" within the context of the mystery itself, and in this one it is centered around the Country Western All Stars, a female band in the country to entertain the troops — but together they are a dynamic force that earns the respect of the reader. Mr. Kill is a terrific addition to this series.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Mr. Kill.
Acknowledgment: Soho Press provided an ARC of Mr. Kill for this review.
Review Copyright © 2012 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
G. I. Bones
Soho Press (Hardcover), November 2009
ISBN-13: 9781569476031; ISBN-10: 1569476039
The Joy Brigade
Soho Crime (Hardcover), July 2012
ISBN-13: 9781616951481; ISBN-10: 1616951486
Location(s) referenced in Mr. Kill: South Korea