Cotterill's wry, irreverent sense of humor is a drone missile that quietly cruises from page to page, taking no prisoners. In varying degrees, everybody and everything is fair game. In short, this is my kind of book. So much so that while reading it I stopped several times to recite passages aloud to my husband.
To begin at the top, the book's title is from a speech given by George W. Bush in 2004 in which he said, "...free societies will be allies against these hateful few who have no conscience, who kill at the whim of a hat." Clearly Cotterill is a fan of the volume of malapropisms that has come to be known as "George Bushisms." This particular gem, as explained by protagonist Jimmy Juree, is where Bush had "fallen off the edge of the teleprompter again and he was caught somewhere between 'on a whim' and 'at the drop of a hat' and ended up with terrorists killing one...
Beyond the Book
In Colin Cotterill's Killed at the Whim of a Hat
, protagonist Jimm Juree makes this tongue-in-cheek assessment of Thailand's political climate:
"Politics used to be a lot more complicated before the recent introduction of the English Premiership system of colored shirts, which helped no end to know who was who. The yellows, headed by a media magnate, and backed discreetly by the military, were locked in battle with the red shirts, mostly from the north, backed by an ex-football club owner, ex-prime-minister, ex-telecommunications czar, ex-policeman currently in exile. It was a matter of time before we got the black and white stripe and the pink polka dot factions."