Excavations : A Novel – Hannah Michell


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A former journalist turned stay-at-home mother ventures into the dark underbelly of Seoul, South Korea, to find her missing husband and protect her children in this gripping, page-turning exploration of the lengths one will go to unveil hard truths.

At home in Seoul, former journalist Sae is waiting with two clingy toddlers for her husband to come home from work. He has never been this late before. Her children are crying, and Sae, exhausted and anxious, turns on the TV to distract herself. She clicks to the news, which shows a horrific disaster, the collapse of a massive skyscraper where Jae was an engineer.

Minutes, then hours, and then days pass. No one has seen Jae, but things aren’t adding up. There are rumors that the foundation was unstable. Jae had told Sae he was working on a swimming pool on the top floor, but reports showed he was in the basement, on a different project. The government was involved but the contractors missing. Sae–who met Jae when they were students at an anti-government protest and has relied on him as her guiding and steadying hand–is troubled, terrified, and…suspicious.

Leaving the children with her estranged mother, Sae sets out to uncover the truth of what happened to her husband. Her research turns up files and secret correspondences pointing to government cover-ups. Eventually, her investigation takes her to an upscale club where the proprietor, Myonghee, is not merely supplying booze and girls but also seeking information, for her own purposes, from every drunken businessman who lets corporate secrets slip. As Sae begins to find what she sought, she must ask herself: how well can you truly know the one you love and how much should you really trust those in power?


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