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Bangkok Tattooby John Burdett
Synopses & Reviews
From the author of Bangkok 8 ("The wildest ride in modern crime novel exoticum" — James Ellroy), 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 8 — the underbelly of Bangkok's underworld — where a dramatically mutilated dead body is found. It's bad: he was CIA. It gets worse: the murderer appears to be Chanya — a tough/sweet working girl, one of the best at The Old Man's Club, jointly owned by Sonchai's mother and his boss, Police Colonel Vikorn. 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 at 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 pit-falls of his own melting heart (Chanya!) — most of which he can handle. But even Sonchai is not prepared for what he discovers in the minds — and in the homes — of a certain group of men at the end of his investigation.
Piercingly smart and funny, densely atmospheric, and — as we already know to expert from John Burdett — with a surprise at every turn, Bangkok Tatto is sensational.
"In Burdett's brilliantly cynical mystery thriller, the follow-up to Bangkok 8 (2004), Royal Thai police detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep is called in by his supervisor, hard-bitten Captain Vikorn, to investigate the murder of a CIA operative, Mitch Turner, found disemboweled and mutilated. The prime suspect is a beautiful bar girl, Chanya, with whom Sonchai believes himself to be in love. When Turner's murder turns out to be far more complicated than originally thought, Sonchai must deal with his boss's rages and Chanya's gradually revealed secrets, along with CIA agents who have come to investigate the crime, a Thai army general with whom Vikorn has been feuding for years, Yakuza gangsters, Japanese tattooists, Muslim fundamentalists and more. Thoroughly familiar with Thailand, Burdett does an impressive job of depicting an often romanticized society from the inside out. His characters are unforgettable, his dialogue fast-paced and perfectly pitched, his numerous asides and observations generally as cutting as they are funny. Agent, Jane Gelfman. 9-city author tour. (May 16)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[Burdett] made that world so vivid and fascinating in Bangkok 8 that a sequel seemed risky — could he do it again, and create another plot as astounding as the one that drove the first book? He could, and in Bangkok Tattoo he has." St. Petersburg Times
"Open Bangkok Tattoo and you will read on and on, with wide-eyed fascination, some horror or disgust and considerable delight....By turns sordid, disorienting and, at its heart, accepting and good-natured about our flawed human condition, Bangkok Tattoo is as seductive as Chanya, Nat, Marly, Lalita or any of the other girls at The Old Man's Club. And that's saying something." Washington Post
"[An] outrageous yet bizarrely tender follow-up to Bangkok 8." Booklist
"An original, imaginative thriller....Burdett writes like a dark angel." Chicago Tribune
"Mesmerizing: a comic tour of the underbelly of Bangkok in pursuit of both a murderer and the sublime." The New Yorker
Detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep of the Royal Thai Police returns in his riveting and smokily atmospheric new thriller.
A farang-a foreigner-has been murdered, his body horribly mutilated, at the Bangkok brothel co-owned by Sonchais mother and his boss. The dead man was a CIA agent. To make matters worse, the apparent culprit is sweet-natured Chanya, the brothels top earner and a woman whom the devoutly Buddhist sleuth has loved for several lifetimes.
How can Sonchai solve this crime without sending Chanya to prison? How can he engage in a cover-up without endangering his karma? And how will he ever get to the bottom of a case whose interested parties include American spooks, Muslim fundamentalists, and gangsters from three countries?
As addictive as opium, as hot as Sriracha chili sauce, and bursting with surprises, Bangkok Tattoo will leave its mark on you.
About the Author
John Burdett is a nonpracticing lawyer who worked in Hong Kong for a British firm until he found his true vocation as a writer. Since then, he has lived in France and Spain and is now back in Hong Kong.
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