Timothy Hallinan returns us to the Bangkok of The Queen of Patpong and further lays bare the seediest industry in Thailand.
The two most difficult days in Bangkok writer Poke Rafferty's life begin with an emergency visit from Edward Dell, the almost-boyfriend of Poke's teenage daughter, Miaow. The boy's father, Buddy, a late-middle-aged womanizer who has moved to Bangkok for happy hunting, has disappeared, and money is being siphoned out of his bank and credit card accounts.
It soon becomes apparent that Buddy is in the hands of a pair of killers who prey on Bangkok's "sexpats"; when his accounts are empty, he'll be found, like a dozen others before him, floating facedown in a Bangkok canal with a weighted cast on his unbroken leg. His money is almost gone.
Over 48 frantic hours, Poke does everything he can to locate Buddy before it's too late.
What members say
- Richard Delman
My favorite author does it again!
I have been listening to Mr. Hallinan's books since he began the Poke Rafferty series. Honestly, I wish I could work as his PR agent, or something. I cannot restrain my enthusiasm for his remarkable talents. I believe that he is by far the best thriller writer working in the country today, and I have read a lot of them. I'm not sure how many Rafferty books there have been, but it doesn't matter: they keep getting better and better. The family of Poke, Rose and Miaow is anticipating the entrance of the fourth member: Rose is pregnant, and Poke is a nervous wreck. He manages to get himself into a terrific thriller in the midst of his turmoil about the pregnancy, and Mr. Hallinan somehow manages to make the pregnancy and the case that Poke gets involved in equally thrilling. If you can imagine that. There is too much going on in these books for me to give even a slapdash idea of the plots. However, the cast of characters whom we know are all involved, including Poke's best friend Arthit, who is a Bangkok police officer, and several of Miaow's friends at school. Miaow is starring in another play at her school: she is playing Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion, a part which Poke accurately says that she was "born to play." Miaow has a new boyfriend, Edward, whose father gets kidnapped by some truly evil people, who are on a string of fleecing rich men of most of their money before killing them. Edward's father provides the primary drama at this end of the plot. Poke manages to get himself right into the thick of the case, as he seems to do, and the climax of the book involves these truly hair-raising moments. While we are listening to this, Rose's pregnancy is as much on our minds as anything else, and of course the pregnancy becomes as complicated and dramatic as the rest of the action. Once again, Victor Bevine proves to be a fantastic narrator, by now the only voice that I can imagine listening to in Hallinan's work. I imagine there are people who for one reason or another might not like this series, but I hope that the work reaches a very large audience. There are so many different pleasures in listening to Hallinan's stories. In addition to the thrills and chills, there is tremendous humor, a wonderful feeling for the city of Bangkok and for the Thai people, and, most of all, the warmth that Hallinan feels for his characters. I can't praise this work more highly. I eagerly anticipate each new book. I hope that you become as much of a fan as I am. Mr. Hallinan has begun winning all kinds of awards, and he deserves every one of them, and more. If I could give him six stars, I would.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
- FRITZ STOOP
We are at our best when we write what we know
Tim can write. But Tim writes about the same things time after time. I support the protection of women and do not give a damn that 'Culture A' has been doing it wrong for centuries. Thais are dopes in this regard and need to cut it out. Now!
If he must include this barbaric notion, Tim needs start writing it into the deep shadows of these plots. As my Grandmother was fond of saying, "Enough is too much!"
2 of 3 people found this review helpful