23 January 2008

Set in Thailand

It occurred to me, when I was reading Timothy Hallinan's A NAIL THROUGH THE HEART, that I have read other books which relate to Thailand and even to similar themes.

So here they are. The third is an Australian author. You might like to suggest others

BLINDFOLD GAME by Dana Stabenow
Quite an exciting read. Two men involved in setting up a terrorist bomb in a tourist area in Thailand in late 2004 decide to explode a dirty bomb over Anchorage, Alaska. The US Coast Guard cutter Sojourner Truth protects the US waters in the Bering Strait and seems to be busier than usual. Sarah Lange, estranged wife of CIA Agent Hugh Rincon, is the Executive Officer of the the cutter. When Hugh hears rumours of the dirty bomb, he realises that Sara's boat is in the area which the bombers are targeting.
My rating 4.5

University lecturer Paola, Commissario Brunetti's wife, is a person of strong convictions. When she throws a rock through the front window of a Venetian travel agency in the middle of the night, not once but twice, because it arranges sex tours to Thailand, she gets not only herself into trouble but Brunetti as well. The owner of the travel agency's premises, who is also the owner of a pharmaceutical company, seems inordinately interested in having the matter hushed up, at the same time as making Paola pay damages. Brunetti's boss Vice-Questore Patta sends Brunetti home on "administrative leave" until the matters are resolved. And then the owner, Mitri, is discovered murdered, garrotted, and Brunetti is summoned back to work. Once again Leon has chosen, in this #8 in her 17 Brunetti titles, to not only provide the reader with a series of puzzles, but to highlight an issue of international concern, placing Venice on an international stage. Brunetti and Paola are wonderful characters as is Signora Elettra, Patta's secretary and computer sleuth.
My rating 4.6

Jayne Keeney, fluent in Thai language, is an Australian private investigator living in Bangkok. Her last investigation into a marital infidelity resulted in her being severely wounded and two weeks later, stitches out, she has arranged to visit her friend Didier de Montpasse living in Chiang Mai. Didier is gay and works on an HIV/AIDS awareness program. He and Jayne get on very well, drawn together by a love of crime fiction. Jayne and Didier go to meet someone in a gay bar behind the Night Bazaar in Chiang Mai. There Didier has an argument with his Thai lover who has a gambling problem. Later that night Nou, Didier’s lover, is discovered dead, in the bar, butchered and mutilated. Soon Didier is also dead, shot at home by the police who say he was attempting to escape arrest. Jayne is determined to prove Didier’s innocence and to find out who really killed Nou. The content of story seems to stem from Savage’s own experience in South East Asia when she worked for the Australian Red Cross in setting up an HIV/AIDS program in Bangkok. In some senses it presents a stereo-typed view of Thailand, particularly of Bangkok and Chang Mai, where the under-age sex industry seems to flourish, with Australians amongst those who feed it. On the other hand, there is an unmistakeable tone of authenticity, raising issues that we need to think about.
A Victorian Premier’s Literary Award Winner in 2004, shortlisted for the Ned Kelly Best First Crime Fiction in 2007
My rating 4.5


Anonymous said...

Not at all relevant to this post, so please forgive me, but just wanted to note that I have read the second Serrallier book by Susan Hill (finished today) and you are right, it is jolly good. Thanks for the tip!

Peter Rozovsky said...

There are John Burdett's "Bangkok" books. And Colin Cotterill's novels are set in Laos but with frequent references to the decadent and repressive capitalists across the river in Thailand.
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

Kerrie said...

If you read Jo Nesbo, apparently there is a novel published about 1998 called COCKROACHES (Kakerlaken)set in Thailand, but you need to be able to read it in German, or French, but it is not available in English
I read a translated review.
See what you can find by Googling Nesbo Thailand

Anonymous said...

Many crime fiction authors have recently chosen Thailand as the setting for their novels. The country has a distinct culture and notorious seediness that make it an interesting choice of location. Authors Christopher G. Moore, Tim Hallinan, and John Burdett are some names that come to mind. Moore’s Vincent Calvino is a private detective in Thailand who must investigate crimes despite cultural barriers and foreign politics. Perhaps the best written crime fiction novels set in Thailand are penned by authors who have lived in the country long enough to understand its complex social structure, customs, and superstitions. Crime fiction is an exciting genre which becomes even more intriguing when set in an exotic locale.

Anonymous said...

A new detective novel collection called 'Mixed Foursome' by M H Burton is set partially in Thailand and includes some Thai characters in major roles. On Nook and Kindle.


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