The bad guys in John Burdett's mysteries are relatively easy to
spot - despite
many a twist and turn, the reader will probably identify the culprit before Sonchai
does, but the mystery is not the reason you'd want to be reading Bangkok 8
Bangkok Tattoo anyway. The reason to read them is to encounter a
whole new culture and an entirely different way of thinking - a culture so
different to what most of us know that it might as well be a parallel universe -
a place where things run smoothly because of, not despite of, the corruption;
and old-timers look back on the Vietnam War as the good old days.
The strength of the series comes not only from the setting but Burdett's chief protagonist - Sonchai, probably the only policeman in town who doesn't take bribes, is a Buddhist whose investigative methods include dream messages from a former (now dead) partner...
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