author of the best seller Bangkok 8, a head-spinning new novel
that puts us back in the company of the inimitable Royal Thai Police
detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep.
We return to District 8the underbelly of Bangkok's underworldwhere a dramatically mutilated dead body is found. It's bad: he was CIA. It gets worse: the murderer appears to be Chanyaa tough, sweet working girl who's the highest earner at The Old Man's Club, jointly owned by Sonchai's mother and his boss, Police Colonel Vikorn.
Alerted by Sonchai, Vikorn quickly concocts a cover-up that involves Al Qaeda and Thailand's porous southern border where, since 9/11, the CIA has been an obviously covert presence. But the truth will be harder to come by, and it will require Sonchai to find an ever-more-delicate balance between his ambition and his Buddhism, while running the gamut of Bangkok's drug dealers, prostitutes, bad cops, worse military, and the pitfalls of his own melting heart (Chanya!)most of which he can handle. But even Sonchai is not prepared for what he discovers at the end of his investigation.
Piercingly smart and funny, densely atmospheric, andas we already know to expect from John Burdettpacking a surprise at every turn, Bangkok Tattoo is sensational.
(Contains sexually explicit content)
Killing customers just isn't good for business."
My mother Nong's tone reflects the disappointment we all feel when a star employee starts to go wrong. Is there nothing to be done? Will we have to let dear Chanya go? The question can only be decided by Police Colonel Vikorn, who owns most of the shares in the Old Man's Club and who is on his way in his Bentley.
"No," I agree. Like my mother's, my eyes cannot stop flicking across the empty bar to the stool where Chanya's flimsy silver dress (just enough silk to cover nipples and butt) drapes and drips. Well, the dripping was slight and is more or less finished (a rusty stain on the floor turning black as it dries), but in more than a decade as a detective in the Royal Thai Police, I have never seen a garment so blood-soaked. Chanya's bra, also hideously splattered, lies halfway up the stairs, and her pantiesher only other garment...
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 and glimpses into his suspects' lives. To understand Sonchai and the country he works in we have to recalibrate our moral compass and put away our Westernized belief that we can to a greater or lesser extent control fate and instead accept the more philosophical Buddhist outlook - a religion that brings new meaning to the expression "better luck next time".
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (722 words).
At the age of 50 John Burdett gave up his life as a partner in a premier
law firm with a luxury apartment on "The Peak" in Hong Kong, sold his worldly
possessions and set out to try his hand at what he'd wanted to do all along -
write books. He is now about 55 and the author of four books including the
two Bangkok thrillers starring Sonchai Jitpleecheep. He was born in North
London, his father was a policeman, his mother a seamstress - and writing was
obviously in his blood from an early age - when he was about 8 his teacher asked
him to write a few sentences about himself, he responded with a
He read literature at the University of Warwick, on graduating in 1973 he considered trying...
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