As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
New reviews are posted daily, but to search for earlier reviews please click on the Mystery People link below and select 'reviews' from the welcome page. This will display an alphabetic option for you to find the review you would like to read
For PREVIOUS REVIEWS- Click on MYSTERY PEOPLE below -
Published by Harvill Secker, 10 May 2018 ISBN: 978-1-78730047-7 (HB)
Williams, a half Korean, half black American, is a brilliant academic and
linguist in the USA. Her area of expertise is foreign affairs. Her special
interest is North Korea because this is where she believes her twin sister,
Soo-min, was abducted to twelve years previously after being snatched from a
South Korean island. Jenna’s perpetual search for her twin brings her to
the attention of the CIA. They recruit and train her in the belief that they
can use her talents and background to learn more about the secretive regime in
North Korea and its leader Kim Jong-il. Jenna hopes that being a CIA
operative will help her to find and rescue her twin.
stories run alongside Jenna’s story. Both are based in North Korea. Eventually,
all three narratives become interwoven with each other.
story is that of a delightfully feisty, elderly lady called Mrs Moon. She
works on a penal farm and her innate sense of justice tends to lead her astray
and bring her to the attention of the ubiquitous Bowibu – the secret police.
One day Mrs Moon discovers some chocolate treats that have been sent over the
border from the South. She takes them to market and uses the money she
makes selling them to set up her own market stall at the nearby station. She
soon becomes the leader of the other lady traders. Unfortunately, Mrs
Moon’s inability to stand silently by and witness injustice gets her into
story is about Cho, a wealthy and privileged member of Kim Jong-il’s elite
officialdom. Cho has a wife and young son whom he adores. Sadly,
being a member of the elite does not protect Cho and his family from the same
terrors experienced by the peasants. When Cho learns his superiors
believe that he and his brother are descended from a traitor – a father they
never knew – they fully understand what horrendous trials are in store for
Star of the North is a brilliant book. It is beautifully written and
provides a powerful and compulsive read. A continuous stream of insights about
the hardships and fears experienced by those unfortunate enough to be isolated
in North Korea is seamlessly incorporated within the chilling and thrilling
narrative of Jenna’s determined efforts to find her twin. Facts and fiction are
combined so effortlessly that it is just as well that DB John has included a
section at the end of the book to enlighten us where one ends and the other
If you want
to know how the three stories gradually merge into one, or if Jenna ever
manages to rescue her twin you will need to read the book. I can’t recommend it
D. B. Johnhas lived
in South Korea and is one of the few Westerners to have visited North Korea. He
co-authored The Girl With Seven Names,
Hyeonseo Lee’s New York Times bestselling memoir about her escape from North
Angela Crowtheris a
retired scientist. She has published many scientific papers but, as yet,
no crime fiction. In her spare time Angela belongs to a Handbell Ringing
group, goes country dancing and enjoys listening to music, particularly the
operas of Verdi and Wagner.