This is another very entertaining entry in Martin Limon's series featuring U.S. Army CID sergeants George Sueno and Ernie Bascom. The series is set in the South Korea of the 1970s, and this book, like the previous twelve, is interesting not only for the criminal investigation involved but for the portrayal of the Korean culture and the description of the relationship between the Koreans and the U.S. Army personnel. Limon is also particularly good at depicting the frustrations of life in the U.S. Army in South Korea at this time.
As the book opens, Sueno and Bascom are assigned to investigate the disappearances of three American GIs who have disappeared in South Korea. The three went missing at different times and in different places, but all three disappeared while out carousing in the Korean bar districts near their respective bases, and none of the cases appears to be that of a soldier who has simply gone temporarily AWOL.
As George and Ernie get deeper into the case, a number of complications appear, and the strangest among them is the rumor that an ancient legendary creature, the Nine-Tailed Fox, disguised as a beautiful woman, has lured the three missing men to their doom. The story also has some interesting relevance to the present-day, which I won’t reveal, and before it’s over, George Sueno will again wind up putting himself in grave danger in his determination to resolve the case. All in all, a very good read.