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G.I. Bones (Sergeants Sueño and Bascom Series #6)

G.I. Bones (Sergeants Sueño and Bascom Series #6)

4.7 3
by Martin Limón

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The sixth Sergeant George Sueño investigation

A Korean fortune-teller is haunted by a long-dead American soldier who wants his bones found and buried. A Latino soldier and the underage daughter of a white American officer are missing. Several notorious Korean gangsters who own bars in Itaewon—Seoul’s red light district—have been


The sixth Sergeant George Sueño investigation

A Korean fortune-teller is haunted by a long-dead American soldier who wants his bones found and buried. A Latino soldier and the underage daughter of a white American officer are missing. Several notorious Korean gangsters who own bars in Itaewon—Seoul’s red light district—have been killed. American military police officers George Sueño and Ernie Bascom must dig deep into the bloody history of Itaewon in order to find out who killed the dead soldier, who’s taking revenge on the gang lords, and where to find the missing girl.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
When a Korean fortune-teller claims the spirit of a long dead American soldier is bothering her at the outset of Limón's well-crafted sixth mystery to feature U.S. Army criminal investigators George Sueño and Ernie Bascom (after 2007's The Wandering Ghost), the pair delve deep into the more than 20-year-old case of Tech. Sgt. Florencio R. Moretti, who went missing in 1953 and is presumed dead. At first, their mission is simply to find Moretti's remains, but as they search for the truth in Seoul's red-light district, Itaewon, they uncover a past of military and government corruption, prostitution and murder. As usual, Sueño and Bascom don't hesitate to put their own lives and careers at risk. Limón's own experiences as a U.S. soldier stationed in Korea serve to enrich the intricate portrait of 1970s Seoul. While excessive attention to details of Korean language and dialect slow the pace at times, loyal fans and newcomers alike should be pleased. Author tour. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Sergeant Sueño of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Eighth U.S. Army in Seoul, South Korea, is asked to find the bones of a G.I. murdered at the end of the Korean War. Apparently, his ghost is haunting local fortune-tellers. But Sueño and his partner, Bascom, who are also probing the disappearace of an officer's daughter, find their lives are on the line when present-day criminals get into the action. VERDICT In this sixth series entry (after The Wandering Ghost), the author demonstrates his knowledge of military politics and South Korea in the 1970s. The only question is why Limón has not received more recognition. Mystery fans, especially male readers and those who enjoy gritty police procedurals in exotic locations, will want this solid crime novel.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School–Military Police Sergeants Sueño and Bascom are pitted against the Seven Dragons, gang lords of Itaewon, the red-light district of Seoul, in this sixth volume in the highly praised and popular crime series set in 1970s Korea. The plot is crisp, the characters are fully portrayed, and the dialogue is convincing. But perhaps the author’s greatest strength is his richly rendered atmosphere. With a full palette of sights, sounds, smells, and tastes, he creates a window into another world, a foreign culture (for most American readers), and a set of circumstances fraught with intrigue, danger, hope, and passion. The two sergeants of the United States 8th Army Criminal Investigation Detachment are called upon to find the bones of a G.I. named Moretti, who was murdered some 20 years earlier but whose body was never found. Now, some two decades later, his bones become restless, apparently stalking a fortune-teller, Aunti Mee. She calls upon the resourceful team of Sueño and Bascom to find the bones and send them back to the United States, so that both the dead and the living can get some peace. The sergeants pursue the case, against the wishes of nearly everyone in positions of authority and power. A subplot involves an Army officer’s teenage daughter who goes missing, and who is determined to free herself from the shackles of her overbearing parents. That’s an old story, but one that is given a new setting and new consequences in Limón’s gritty, always entertaining novel.–Robert Saunderson, formerly at Berkeley Public Library, CA
Kirkus Reviews
When a two-fisted military sleuth shakes the trees in search of a soldier's remains, he uncovers secrets some would kill to protect. Narrator George Sueno, agent for the Criminal Investigation Division of the 8th U.S. Army in Seoul, circa 1973, gets a strange request from Auntie Mee, a highly respected local woman known as "the most famous chom-cheingi in Seoul," whom he's met through his close friend Doc Yong. The mysterious fortune teller requests that Sueno find the bones of a G.I. she calls Mori Di. Cryptically, Auntie Mee warns that failure to find the bones will prove perilous to Miss Kwon, a delicate young "business girl" Doc Yong has taken under his wing. The victim of an unsolved murder, Mori Di has haunted Auntie Mee's dreams for nearly two decades. Sueno's respect for Doc Yong prompts him to take the matter seriously. With his sidekick Bascom, he searches military records from the Korean War and discovers the identity of the likely victim: Sgt. Florencio Moretti, missing and presumed dead. Further research reveals that an investigator calling himself Cort found evidence of multiple coverups, both American and Korean, of Moretti's movements and of a shameful incident known as the Itaewon Massacre. A lively subplot involves AWOL corporal Francisco "Paco" Bernal, his underage girlfriend Jessica Tidwell (a rigid colonel's wild daughter) and his theft of thousands in government money. Sueno's sixth mystery (The Wandering Ghost, 2007, etc.) combines a brash, righteous hero with gritty local color for a crackling good read.
From the Publisher
Praise for G.I. Bones

An NPR Best Book of the Year

"The latest in the series, G.I. Bones, is brilliant—imbued with affecting characters, a morally knotty storyline, and a last chapter that just plain stuns."
—Maureen Corrigan, NPR.org

“Nobody navigates the barely controlled chaos of Seoul’s red light district like these two—or the byzantine ways of Army bureaucracy, for that matter. Limón’s empathy for Korean culture, meanwhile, makes him an excellent guide.”
The Seattle Times

“If you’ve never encountered Limón in your literary travels, [G.I. Bones] is a good place to begin your journey.”
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Praise for the George Sueño and Ernie Bascom series

“Combining the grim routine of a modern police procedural with the cliff-hanging action of a thriller movie.”
The Wall Street Journal 

“Altogether engaging.”
The Washington Post Book World 

“It’s great to have these two mavericks back.”
The New York Times Book Review 

“Setting the standard for military crime fiction, Limón’s compelling stories of murder, greed, and abuse of power are set off by the Korean culture and 1970s atmosphere.”
Library Journal, Starred Review

"Throughout this critically acclaimed series, Limón has displayed a remarkable talent for weaving his background knowledge of the country into his plots."

“Easily the best military mysteries in print today.”
—Lee Child 

“Martin Limón does what the best storytellers do: take you away to a brand new world.”
—Michael Connelly  

Product Details

Soho Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
Sergeants Sueño and Bascom Series , #6
Sold by:
Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Sales rank:
File size:
649 KB

Meet the Author

Martin Limón retired from military service after twenty years in the US Army, including ten years in Korea. He is the author of ten novels in the Sueño and Bascom series, including Jade Lady Burning, The Iron Sickle, The Ville Rat, and Ping-Pong Heart, as well as the short story collection Nightmare Range. He lives near Seattle.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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G. I. Bones: A Sergeants Sueño and Bascom Mystery 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Korean fortuneteller Aunti Mee insists The Wandering Ghost of Tech Sergeant Florencio R. Moretti will not leave her alone. The GI went missing two decades ago back in 1953. U.S. 8th Army Criminal Investigation Detachment investigators Sergeants George Sueno and Ernie Bascom are assigned to investigate what everyone in CID including them assumes is a corpse. The two military cops enter the Itaewon red light sector of Seoul seeking clues that will lead to Moretti's remains so he can be properly buried back in the States. The pair also searches for a missing military teenage dependent of whom they assume is a runaway. Neither expected they would face the wrath of the Seven Dragons gang who own the district; both expected the wrath of superiors who want Moretti's bones to remain interred wherever they are. This is a super historical military police procedure that brings to life 1970s Seoul and to a degree how Koreans and soldiers of that era looked back to the end of the Korean Conflict. The mysteries of the missing dependent and the murder of Moretti are excellent, but it is the historiographer's delight of time and place that make G.I. BONES and the series a winner. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago