Mr. Kill by Martin Limon

Mr. Kill Reviewed by Caryn St. Clair

Martin Limon’s U.S. Army Investigators Sergeants George Sueno and Ernie Bascom return for their eighth appearance in Mr.Kill. This time out, the two American investigators are joined by a Korean investigator aptly named Kill.

The basic plot seems to be an ever too often occurring story in the news -a Korean mother is brutally raped on a Korean train and an American soldier is most probably the culprit. George and Ernie are called upon to investigate but are hampered by the “it couldn’t possibly be one of our boys who did this,” sentiment. The Koreans want justice and they want it now. The longer the investigation drags on, the angrier Korean citizens become and the more heated the anti-American fever runs. But aside from the sort of “ripped from the headlines” plot thread, there are a couple other threads to the plot that make it interesting as things start to come together. Of course if there are soldiers there bound to be women in the mix. That role is filled by an all female country western band who want to entertain the troops with more than their voices.

While George and Ernie give readers a good old fashioned detective story, the real joy of these books is the setting. The author spent time in Korea in the military so he knows the ins and outs of not only how the military functions. Readers who like to read mysteries with a military setting will appreciate Limon’s insider knowledge. Because the author spent several years in Korea, the details of the setting are terrific. Readers will certainly feel that they are in Korea with the characters as they read along. People who like to armchair travel will enjoy this series.

While the book is well written, the entire plot seems a little too loaded with references to previous cases leaving readers unfamiliar with the characters wondering if these references have any tie in to the current case or not. It would seem that this is a series where at least some of the earlier books need to be read before picking Mr.Kill up to read.

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