The important thing is not who pulls the trigger but who’s behind the person who pulls the trigger—the plotters, the masterminds working in the shadows. Raised by Old Raccoon in The Library of Dogs, Reseng has always been surrounded by plots to kill—and by books that no one ever reads. In Seoul’s corrupt underworld, he was destined to be an assassin.
Until he breaks the rules. That’s when he meets a trio of young women—a convenience store worker, her wheelchair-bound sister, and a cross-eyed obsessive knitter—with an extraordinary plot of their own.
Will the women save the day? Or will Reseng be next on the kill list? Who will look after his cats, Reading Lamp and Book Stand? Who planted the bomb in his toilet? How much beer can he drink before he forgets it all?
The Plotters is a cracking noir thriller combined with the soul, wit and lyricism of a highly original literary voice.
Un-su Kim is the rising star of Korean literature. With shades of Murakami, The Plotters is a complex, fascinating moral tale about the changing of the guard in a corrupt underworld—a page-turner filled with black humour and compassion for a fallen world.
Un-su Kim was born in 1972 in Busan and is the author of several highly praised novels. He has won the Munhakdongne Novel Prize, Korea’s most prestigious literary prize, and was nominated for the 2016 Grand Prix de la Littéraire Policière. He lives in Jinhae-gu, South Korea.
Sora Kim-Russell is a Korean-American living in Seoul, where she teaches translation. She has translated works by Hwang Sok-yong, Jeon Sungtae, Pyun Hye-young and Shin Kyung-sook, among others.
‘The Plotters is a constantly surprising book full [of] fascinating stories and unforgettable characters…A savage, beautifully observed, often poetic novel.’ AustCrime
‘Demands to be read for its incredible cast of characters…a first-rate thriller.’ Le Monde
‘A rich, funny, cynical Korean noir…A delicious surprise.’ La Croix
‘A novel to keep readers on their toes.’ Booklover Book Reviews
‘Like a veteran killer…quickly, coolly, and without hesitation, Un-su Kim commands sentences and stories that stab the reader between the ribs. We’ve been waiting for this storyteller and his story.’ Park Min-gyu, novelist
‘Awe is my reaction to The Plotters. The novel thrills me like a wolf feels when it has smelled blood.' Kwon Yeo-seon
‘Now this is a story with power and style. The one-two punches of humor are a nice bonus…You’ll be laughing out loud every five minutes…you’ll find yourself contemplating the meaning of life, death, and desire for a long, long time. Make sure you leave your evening free, because you won’t be able to put this book down once you start.’ You-jeong Jeong, author of the bestselling thriller The Good Son
‘A book of revelations for murder both violent yet graceful, dark yet poetic. With sharp humour and sparkling prose, Un-su Kim stylishly spins the tale of the extraordinary life of an ordinary assassin.’ Jungmyung Lee [J.M. Lee], author of The Investigation
‘More than a crime novel, more than violence and mystery, The Plotters promises both temptation and beauty.’ Eka Kurniawan
‘It is a harder-than-hard-boiled kooky blast of a book. It is wildly funny and surreal.’ NZ Listener
‘Laugh-out-loud funny.’ Radio NZ
‘The Plotters is what would happen if you took the best South Korean crime cinema and distilled it into words. A smart but lightning fast thriller that keeps the pressure on to the very last page.’ Brian Evenson, author of Last Days and A Collapse of Horses
‘Imagine a mash-up of Tarantino and Camus set in contemporary Seoul, and you have The Plotters. Filled with unexpected humor and exquisite fight scenes.’ Louisa Luna, author of Two Girls Down
‘The Plotters by Un-su Kim is a work of literary genius; a quirky, compelling, intelligent, darkly funny, highly original and thought-provoking thriller like nothing I've read. Gorgeous prose elevates the basest of characters and answers the question: How can ours be a life well-lived if we only do as we’re told? I loved this book!’ Karen Dionne, author of The Marsh King’s Daughter
‘The Plotters tells the story of Renseng, a jaded assassin who startles himself by realising—somewhat belatedly—that he has a moral code, a sense of honour, a soul. All of these will prove to be perilous liabilities in his world. Un-Su Kim is a tremendous writer, and he’s crafted a smart, stylish, and surprisingly moving thriller.’ Scott Smith, author of A Simple Plan and The Ruins