BookBrowse Reviews Bangkok Tattoo by John Burdett

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Bangkok Tattoo

by John Burdett

Bangkok Tattoo by John Burdett X
Bangkok Tattoo by John Burdett
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    May 2005, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2006, 320 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


A brilliantly cynical mystery thriller set in Bangkok

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 and 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 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". 

Although the two Bangkok books having everything you might expect in a thriller they are not classic "page-turners" and should not be rushed.  In the words of  Jonathan Yardley writing for the Washington Post, "John Burdett is purely and simply a wonderful writer, a genuine grown-up at work in a genre mostly populated by arrested adolescents."

This review is from the August 2, 2006 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Driving Miss Norma
    by Ramie Liddle, Tim Bauerschmidt
    In my cultural life, I've met and been awed by two Normas: The demanding, clueless, fiercely ...
  • Book Jacket
    Driving Miss Norma
    by Ramie Liddle, Tim Bauerschmidt
    In my cultural life, I've met and been awed by two Normas: The demanding, clueless, fiercely ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Last Ballad
    by Wiley Cash
    A hundred years ago or so, farming land west of Charlotte, North Carolina was given over to giant ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Graybar Hotel
    by Curtis Dawkins
    We – those of us on the outside – are lucky. So very lucky. We get to experience life &#...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner

A love story for things lost and restored, a lyrical hymn to the power of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    A Place for Us
    by Fatima Farheen Mirza

    A deeply moving story of love, identity and belonging--the first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker's new imprint.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win If You See Me, Don't Say Hi

If You See Me, Don't Say Hi by Neel Patel

Patel's stories introduce a bold and timely new literary voice.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A P Saved I A P E

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.