Nuclear Blues

Fiction - Thriller - Political
338 Pages
Reviewed on 01/17/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Growing up in the U.S. South, Martin weighed career goals ranging from preacher to president -- then spent decades as a foreign correspondent. A leading Pyongyang watcher, he wrote the nonfictional "Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty,'" which the New York Review of Books called "simply the best book ever written about North Korea." As "Nuclear Blues" begins, the Kim-Trump Korean peace and denuclearization process has collapsed like its predecessors, and Kim Jong-un is back to all his old tricks and worse. This "rambunctious, rollicking, dystopian novel is a murderous, chaotic romp through a near-future North Korea by a Korean-American guitar picker, Bible thumper, bourbon drinker and burned out photojournalist from Mississippi now plying his musical trade in Japanese night clubs who goes to the Korean DMZ to snap pictures for a Hong Kong-based news portal and ends up taking pictures of his best friend, gunned down by North Korean guards. Heck Davis is catapulted into an adventure that includes a pneumatic North Korean spy; a fundamentalist Christian university next to a huge tunnel where 'tractors' are said to be manufactured; Iranian agents seeking a bomb; Great Leader Kim Il-sung and his descendants; a behemoth investment bank that could be mistaken for Goldman Sachs, and much, much more." (from Asia Sentinel's review.) Dan Brown fans and lovers of financial thrillers will appreciate the conspiracy Heck discovers, which threatens to set off the prophesied End Times War of Gog and Magog.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

Nuclear Blues by Bradley K. Martin is a tightly written and pulsating political thriller with a captivating setting in North Korea, riddled with espionage, shady activities, and a world where nothing is as it seems. Meet Heck Davis, a journalist who has embraced a new career as a blues musician. But suddenly his friend is shot and everything changes. He goes back to hunt the shooter, but in a world filled with uncertainty, where any passerby could be carrying a bomb, can he stay safe and find answers to the riddle that haunts his mind?

Bradley K. Martin’s Nuclear Blues is cunningly crafted and the action builds up around the growth of the protagonist. Heck Davis evolves in many ways throughout the narrative and readers will be stunned at how the author creates a powerful link between the conflict, the protagonist, and the setting. This could be a story about strong and compelling characters seeking answers, but it is a powerful statement about the socio-political landscapes and the darkness that invades North Korea, a daring story that is as unnerving as it is engrossing.

Bradley K. Martin has the gift of making readers feel a place and fall in love with his characters. The writing is top-notch and the overall writing is deft and balanced, with powerful and emotionally intense scenes, thrilling moments of action, and twists that readers won’t see coming. The “aha” moments are many and the thought that something could happen at any moment invades the reader’s mind. I was so engrossed that I read the whole story through the night. An awesome read. One of the best thrillers I have read so far with an international setting.