PING-PONG HEART by Martin Limón


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A pair of veteran two-fisted Army investigators probe the murder of an American officer who had recently tangled in and out of the sheets with a South Korean bar girl.

Itaewon, South Korea, 1974. Maj. Frederick Schultz storms into the 8th Army Provost Marshal’s Office, claiming that a bar girl named Miss Jo robbed him. CID sergeants George Sueño and Ernie Bascom (The Ville Rat, 2015, etc.) catch the case, which George snappily recounts. From the way Schultz has upset CID secretary Miss Kim, George suspects that he may share some culpability. His view gains traction when somebody roughs up Miss Jo and Schultz chooses to withdraw his complaint. Everything changes when Schultz is found dead two days later at the Dragon King Nightclub. Multiple stab wounds, perhaps from more than one knife, are the cause. When George and Ernie begin asking questions at the clubs, reprisals are quick and violent. Rather than getting them thrown off the case, this incident leads “Mr. Kill,” the chief homicide detective of the Korean National Police, with which the CID works, to prioritize the investigation. Miss Jo, meanwhile, takes a powder, and Mr. Kill’s minions give chase, leaving Ernie and George to dig deeper into Schultz’s activities. Their discovery that he was working on a special classified project widens the pool of suspects considerably but complicates the case. Mr. Kill, meanwhile, is determined to catch and frame Miss Jo for the sake of international relations. Can Ernie and George find the perp in time?

Limón’s 11th Americans-in-Korea procedural has grit, pace, and an authentic feel.

Pub Date: March 18th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-61695-713-1
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Soho Crime
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