Korean American Books

Summaries and reviews of fiction and nonfiction books by Korean American authors,
books about Korean Americans and Korea, and Korean literature in English translation,
including some academic works and a sampling on the Korean War

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Over the Shoulder: A Novel of Intrigue, by Leonard Chang

[Publisher's description] A hybrid of crime and literary novel that explores issues of honor and family history, Over The Shoulder offers a unique view of the American protagonist and reluctant investigator, shaken from the doldrums of his insulated life.
Choice and his partner, Paul Baumgartner, are security specialists for Silicon Valley executives.When Paul gets killed on the job, Choice and an inexperienced Bay Area reporter, Linda Maldonado, begin looking into the puzzling circumstances of the murder. As they work together to unravel the intricate threads of lies and half-truths, they discover that his death might be linked to an older, more personal one -- the mysterious death of Allen's father some twenty years earlier.
With his self-described "philosophy of removement" as his frame of reference, Choice searches for the hidden, long-buried answers, only to be outmaneuvered at every juncture. Against this backdrop of violence and deception, Choice soon discovers secrets that alter his understanding of his father, of his family -- secrets that lead him to a buried history of betrayal.
A new direction for noir fiction, Over the Shoulder is an examination of the past and the present, of long-simmering familiar tensions and the subtle conflicts of race and class; it is a story about the awakening of memories and an understanding of the self.

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