Set in a fictional Korea, The Plotters tells the story of Reseng, a young assassin whose familiar, brutal world is slowly disintegrating in the shadow of a looming power struggle. When Reseng finds himself on the receiving end of an unorthodox assassination attempt, he plunges down the rabbit hole and finds far more than he was prepared for, including a soul-shattering change of heart. Reseng is clever, confident, and fatalistic; his keen and at times odd observations on the human condition can be laugh-out-loud funny or make you pause and reflect somberly on your own situation. Fast-paced, gritty, full of vivid language and fleshed-out characters, this book was an immersive journey I didn’t want to end. Recommended By Steph C., Powells.com
The Plotters by Un-Su Kim is a beautifully written dark-humored tale of a den of assassins based in an old library where the orphaned Reseng, now an assassin, was raised by Old Raccoon. Awesome characters are layered with little gems of delight throughout. This book is a sensational pleasure and a pure joy to read. Loved this! Recommended By Adrienne C., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
"[A] powerhouse of a novel.... It reads as if Haruki Murakami rewrote The Day of the Jackal." Locus Magazine
"Editor's Choice" New York Times Book Review
"The Most Anticipated Crime Books of 2019" CrimeReads
"Most Anticipated Books of 2019" Lit Hub
"This Winter's Best Thrillers" Chicago Review of Books
A fantastical crime novel set in an alternate Seoul where assassination guilds compete for market dominance.
Behind every assassination, there is an anonymous mastermind — a plotter — working in the shadows. Plotters quietly dictate the moves of the city's most dangerous criminals, but their existence is little more than legend. Just who are the plotters? And more important, what do they want?
Reseng is an assassin. Raised by a cantankerous killer named Old Raccoon in the crime headquarters "The Library," Reseng never questioned anything: where to go, who to kill, or why his home was filled with books that no one ever read. But one day, Reseng steps out of line on a job, toppling a set of carefully calibrated plans. And when he uncovers an extraordinary scheme set into motion by an eccentric trio of young women — a convenience store clerk, her wheelchair-bound sister, and a cross-eyed librarian — Reseng will have to decide if he will remain a pawn or finally take control of the plot.
Crackling with action and filled with unforgettable characters, The Plotters is a deeply entertaining thriller that soars with the soul, wit, and lyricism of real literary craft.
"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 hums with menace, humor, heartbreak, and savagery. The killers and schemers haunting its pages range from dens of villainy to desperate scenes of quiet domesticity, offering a view of the world from the depths of its own shadow. The result is wild, weird, and completely engrossing."
Jedediah Berry, author of The Manual of Detection
"Pleasingly deadpan, The Plotters manages to be both humorous (Reseng's cats are called, delightfully, Desk and Lampshade) and violent, and sometimes even wise."
“The winner of prestigious prizes in Korea, Kim makes his anglophone debut, thanks to Kim-Russell, who captures his dark, dark wit and searing sarcasm in an irresistible sociopolitical parable designed to delight and dismay.” Booklist (Starred Review)
“Intriguing and playfully fun…The Plotters walks in the traditions of the noble detective and the samurai while spinning some new chewy bits probably best not mimicked. By the end, heroism rises out of the carnage to trump the nihilistic capitalism in a rousing climax.” Los Angeles Review of Books
About the Author
Un-Su Kim was born in 1972 in Busan, which is a port city about five hours south of Seoul. 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 Litteraire Policiere, a French prize for the best international crime novel.
The translator, Sora Kim-Russell, is a Korean-American living in Seoul where she teaches translation.