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The Godfather of Kathmandu (Vintage)by John Burdett
Synopses & Reviews
Sonchai Jitpleecheep — John Burdett’s inimitable Royal Thai Police detective with the hard-bitten demeanor and the Buddhist soul — is summoned to the most shocking and intriguing crime scene of his career. Solving the murder could mean a promotion, but Sonchai, reeling from a personal tragedy, is more interested in Tietsin, an exiled Tibetan lama based in Kathmandu who has become his guru.
There are, however, obstacles in Sonchai’s path to nirvana. Police Colonel Vikorn has just named Sonchai his consigliere (he’s been studying The Godfather on DVD): to troubleshoot, babysit, defuse, procure, reconnoiter — do whatever needs to be done in Vikorn’s ongoing battle with Army General Zinna for control of Bangkok’s network of illegal enterprises. And though Tietsin is enlightened and (eerily) charismatic, he also has forty million dollars’ worth of heroin for sale. If Sonchai truly wants to be an initiate into Tietsin’s “apocalyptic Buddhism,” he has to pull off a deal that will bring Vikorn and Zinna to the same side of the table. Further complicating the challenge is Tara: a Tantric practitioner who captivates Sonchai with her remarkable otherworldly techniques.
Here is Sonchai put to the extreme test — as a cop, as a Buddhist, as an impossibly earthbound man — in John Burdett’s most wildly inventive, darkly comic, and wickedly entertaining novel yet.
"Burdett's fever-dream mysteries recast the police procedural as psychedelic peep show." The New Yorker
"John Burdett is writing the most exciting set of crime novels in the world." The Oregonian
"Godfather is written with Burdett's characteristic zest, serving up pungent slices of Bangkok's bazaars and waterways." The Boston Globe
"A Thai tale of corruption, mayhem and intrigue." San Francisco Chronicle
"It is the mordant wit of his exhaustively observant ‘monk manqué’ hero that fuels this blissful and dexterous book." Houston Chronicle
"This is a novel brimming with observations and arguments, with absurdity and jokes....Witty, learned, and wild." The Washington Post Book World
"The spiciest yet of Burdett’s exotic dishes." The Times (London)
"Burdett’s latest mystery is delightfully ambiguous, like life itself." St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Block out several hours to read it in one sitting. Once you start, you won’t get anything else done until you finish it." Bookpage
"A dizzying array of multifaceted storylines....Burdett juggles the various plots with great dexterity....A whirlwind of a novel." Booklist (starred review)
"A blissfully nutty caper that brings back fond memories of the late lamented Ross Thomas’s crazy-quilt crime fiction....Distinguishing crooks from good guys is only one of the pleasures [here]....Sonchai’s wry narrative voice (think: exotic Philip Marlowe) keeps us hooked." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
John Burdett's famed Royal Thai detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep is put to the test both as a Buddhist and as a cop as he confronts the most shocking crime of his career.
A rich American film director has been murdered. It is an intriguing case, and solving it could lead to a promotion for Sonchai, but, as always, he is far more concerned with the state of his karma than he is with his status in the earthly realm. To complicate matters his boss, Colonel Vikorn, has decided to make Sonchai his consigliere in a heroin smuggling operation. Sonchai travels to Kathmandu to meet Vikorn's connection Tietsin, a Tibetan Buddhist monk, and falls under the sway of this dark and charismatic guru.
About the Author
John Burdett is the author of A Personal History of Thirst, The Last Six Million Seconds, Bangkok 8, Bangkok Tattoo, and Bangkok Haunts. He divides his time between Thailand and France.
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