Kisaeng

Marc Olden, Author Dutton Books $21.95 (325p) ISBN 978-1-55611-247-8
Despite his firm grounding in Asian culture and the martial arts, and his assured prose style, Olden ( Dai-Sho ) produces here a sordid tale in which the villains are thoroughly detestable and the good guys only slightly less so. Park Song, aka Laughing Boy, is Korea's foremost counterfeiter of American currency and an old nemesis of NYPD detective Manny Decker. As Laughing Boy, he trains young girls, whom he has purchased at white slave auctions, in the ancient art of the Kisaeng (literally, ``recreational creature'') and brutally murders them after his perverse appetite is slaked. When Decker discovers that the daughter of an ex-lover has been kidnapped specifically for Laughing Boy, his hunt takes him down an international trail of political and police corruption, sexual perversity and intergovernmental back-scratching. The effect of so many hateful, depraved characters is exacerbated by the lack of likable heroes, earmarking this difficult, grim novel for special tastes only. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1991
Release date: 06/01/1991
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-8217-3897-9
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