Genre: Fiction
Published: 10 May 2018
Publisher: Harvill Secker
International Rights have been sold to US/Crown (May 2018), Czech Republic/Domino, Denmark/Politikens, Finland/Bazar Kustannus Oy, France/Les Arènes, Germany/Rowohlt/Wunderlich, Israel/Keter Books, Italy/DeA Planeta Libri, Netherlands/Cargo, Norway/Gyldendal, Poland/Zysk, Spain/Salamandra, Sweden/Polaris, Taiwan/Marco Polo

Star of the North

by D.B. John


North Korea and the USA are on the brink of war.

A young American woman disappears without trace from a South Korean island.

The CIA recruits her twin sister to uncover the truth.

Now, she must go undercover in the world’s most deadly state.

Only by infiltrating the dark heart of the terrifying regime will she be able to save her sister… and herself.

Star of the North is the most explosive thriller of the year – you won’t be able to put it down.

“Extraordinary ... smart, sophisticated, suspenseful - and important. If you try one new thing this year, make it Star of the North.” - Lee Child
“This one brims with marvellous characters and delivers heart-in-your throat action. Every page brims with reality, intensity, and passion, all unravelling at a perfect pace. Enjoy.” - Steve Berry, New York Times Bestselling author of The Lost Order
“D.B. John delivers the timeliest thriller of 2018. An intricately constructed puzzle box of spies and tradecraft that plunges the reader on a cyanide-laced sprint through North Korea. The real star though is D.B. John’s crackling prose, which breathes humanity and dignity into the most repressive nation on earth. The last hundred pages read like ten, I had to fight the urge to flip to the end.” - Matthew Fitzsimmons, author of The Short Drop
“A superior thriller, deftly plotted and richly human, steeped in the intrigue, culture and family of a closed regime, both terrifying and upliftingly emotional. It delivers on all fronts.” - Andrew Gross, New York Times bestselling author of The One Man
“Tense and compelling.” - James Swallow, bestselling author of Nomad and Exile
“From the very first page of this riveting thriller, I knew that D.B. John was a talented writer, and that Star of the North wasn’t like any other book I’ve read before. It’s not only brilliantly plotted, with espionage, secrecy, and obsession, it’s a story about survivors, told by three complex and fully realized characters, each battling their own personal demons. John portrays the hardships of North Korea and its people with painful accuracy while never losing sight of their humanity. This one is definitely a star.” - Chevy Stevens, New York Times bestselling author of Never Let You Go and Still Missing
“As gripping as it is shocking, this is an adrenalin-rush of a thriller that is also a devastating portrayal of a brutal regime. I couldn’t pull myself away.” - Sabine Durrant, bestselling author of Lie With Me
“An exhilarating, tightly-plotted page-turner - and a very moving one, too. Full of characters who will capture your heart and have you staying up far too late to find out their fate.” - Emily Koch, author of If I Die Before I Wake
“John excels at drawing the everyday details of life in a closed society – the drug use of the lower classes, the paranoia and fear of those who have gained access to the upper ranks, the omnipotence of the Bowibu, the state security force. Those seeking a realistic, highly readable look at North Korea will be richly rewarded.” - Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“John weaves a twisty tale about North Korea, the most secretive country on Earth… From the luxuries of power to the back-door political dealings to the torturous realities of a concentration camp, these three seemingly disparate plots are deftly woven, leading to an ending that this at once breathtaking and bittersweet… this well-researched, fast-paced, and pertinent thriller will keep readers’ attention from start to finish. Readers of all sorts – whether spy fiction fans, thriller aficionados, or book junkies looking for a fantastic read – will enjoy.” - Library Journal (starred review)
“Star of The North reads like a cross between Child-44 and I am Pilgrim and is every bit as good as both of them. Read this book and you will not only feel that you've been to North Korea you will also never, ever want to go there. Brutally realistic, fascinatingly detailed, it's a fantastic thriller whose fantasy is all the more powerful for being based on truth.” - Simon Toyne, bestselling author of the Sanctus trilogy
“Star of the North is one to look out for when it’s published in early May. Original, cleverly plotted and easy to read. After a brilliant set up it’s action all the way to the finish. As the strands of the story come together the plot reaches a nail biting and powerful conclusion.” - Nudge-Book.com, http://nudge-book.com/blog/2018/02/star-of-the-north-by-d-b-john/
“Enormously exciting, extremely intelligent and beautifully written.” - Kate, For Winter Nights
“Welsh author John uses three memorable primary characters to tell a remarkable story about the most opaque country on Earth: North Korea…The lives of these people collide in a harrowing thriller that exposes an amazingly corrupt regime that embraces savage brutality and nearly every kind of lucrative criminal enterprise. John concludes with a fascinating 10-page bibliographic essay supporting his claims, but Star of the North would be a superior thriller even if it was pure fiction.” - Booklist (Starred Review)
“Fast-moving and compelling, it provides the perfect fictional backdrop to the summit diplomacy we are now witnessing.” - Geoffrey Wansell, Daily Mail
“A fast-paced thriller but it is the description of what life was like for ordinary citizens in North Korea that really stays with you… brilliant.” - Nigel, Netgalley Reviewer
“Epic… there’s so much I want to shout about but it’ll give the plot away. You have to discover this for yourself.” - Susan, The Book Trail
“The best thrillers offer something more ambitious than simply raising the pulse rate of the reader. In Star of the North by DB John (Harvill Secker, £12.99), it is geopolitical complexity…with echoes of Martin Cruz Smith and Robert Harris. This is a masterly evocation of life under the Kim Jong-un regime with everyone, rich or poor, living in fear of the all-seeing State Security.” - Barry Forshaw, The Guardian
“They say life imitates art, and that’s the uncanny case with Star of the North, the new thriller from North Korea expert D.B. John… eerily timely… As the real-life situation on the Korean Peninsula continues to fluctuate, you could sit patiently and wait for diplomacy updates — or you can read this sneak peek of Star of the North. Your choice.” - Entertainment Weekly
“A thrilling tale of abduction and escape in North Korea. As we await the possibility of diplomatic engagement with North Korea, D.B. John’s timely new novel offers a cool-eyed portrait of our adversary… “Star of the North” builds to a gripping climax… It’s an exciting ending to a novel that, in addition to being highly entertaining, suggests the difficulties we face in dealing with a small, distant nation with values and beliefs so different from our own.” - Patrick Anderson, The Washington Post
“A fascinating, disturbing insight into this secretive country.” - Alison Flood, The Observer
“Current events make this timely, smart, sophisticated and suspenseful tale of family, intrigue and culture in the closed and brutal regime of North Korea one of the most important espionage novels of recent years.” - Crime Review, http://crimereview.co.uk/page.php/review/6202