James Church

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About the Author

James Church is the pseudonym of the author of five detective novels featuring a North Korean policeman, "Inspector O".

Church is identified on the back cover of his novels as "a former Western intelligence officer with decades of experience in Asia". He grew up in the San Fernando Valley in the United States, and was over sixty years old in 2009. His name and identity are known in the community of North Korea watchers.

His "Inspector O" novels have been well-received, being noted by Asia specialists for offering "an unusually nuanced and detailed portrait" of North Korean society. A Korea Society panel praised the first book in the series for its realism and its ability to convey "the suffocating atmosphere of a totalitarian state". The Independent and The Washington Post compared the protagonist to Arkady Renko, chief inspector in Martin Cruz Smith's Gorky Park, for providing "a vivid window into a mysterious country".