cover image Ping Pong Heart

Ping Pong Heart

Martin Limón. Soho Crime, $26.95 (368p) ISBN 978-1-61695-713-1

At the start of Limón’s compelling 11th novel set in 1970s South Korea featuring U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division agents George Sueño and Ernie Bascom (after 2015’s The Ville Rat), Maj. Frederick Schultz makes an official complaint, accusing a prostitute, Jo Kyong-ja, of taking his money without providing the agreed-upon services. When Sueño and Bascom question Jo, she denies the allegation and claims that Schultz was upset when he was unable to perform. Shortly after that interview, someone roughs up Jo, and a few weeks later, Schultz, the logical suspect in that assault, turns up dead himself, the victim of a knifing in a back alley behind a Seoul nightclub. Complicating the murder inquiry is the involvement of the South Korean police and the unsettling revelation that Schultz was doing classified work involving the review of potential irregularities in the running of a military intelligence unit. Major developments in the lives of Limón’s leads complement the intricate whodunit. Agent: Jill Marsal, Marsal Lyon Literary. (June)