This grisly, terrifying thriller follows CID Agents George Sueño and Ernie Bascom across the Korean Peninsula in their search for a lost artifact
South Korea, 1970s: Retired Army officer Herman Burkowicz has quite a lucrative setup smuggling rare Korean artifacts. But then his nine-year-old foster daughter, Mi-ja, is abducted, and her kidnappers demand a ransom Burkowicz doesn’t have: a priceless jade skull from the age of Genghis Khan. Sueño and Bascom—more accustomed to chasing felons and black marketeers in the back alleys of Itaewon than ancient treasures—go in over their heads as they agree to search for the skull, a journey that will lead them to a crime that threatens the fragile peace between South Korea and the US Army units living on its Korean soil.
An assault on a Buddhist nun and the abduction of the Korean daughter of an American serviceman lead Ernie Bascom and George Sueno into their latest cliffhanger (after Slicky Boys), this time in search of a jade head that bears a map to the lost tomb of Genghis Khan. Everybody--the Mongol worshippers of the Demon Buddha Mahakala; the followers of the peaceful Maitreya Buddha; and the distantly beautiful Lady Ahn, the current descendant of the last owner of the jade head--wants that head. Lady Ahn wants the two agents for the Army's Criminal Investigation Division to steal the jade skull from the island hideaway where it is being guarded by yet another set of Buddhist monks. Meanwhile, the partners have an assailant to catch (before the victim immolates herself in protest) and a little girl to be saved (the Mongols threaten to kill her if the jade head isn't in their hands by the night of the full moon). There are more than enough plots (and reversals and complications) for three novels in this romp. And although readers might be excused for imagining that Bascom and Sueno are the only two people in Korea who know what they're doing, that's all part of Limon's style, which might be described as unequal parts hard-boiled procedural and action-packed adventure. FYI: Bantam is promoting Buddha's Money with a 16-page excerpt in the paperback edition of Slicky Boys (on sale in April).