4 February 2014

Review: THE DYING BEACH, Angela Savage

  • MFormat: Kindle (Amazon)
  • File Size: 417 KB
  • Print Length: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Text Publishing (June 26, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
Synopsis (Amazon)

A new case for expat private investigator Jayne Keeney.

As Jayne and Rajiv holiday in Krabi, Jayne can't stop her mind straying to thoughts of the future: a successful business, perhaps even a honeymoon. Who would have thought she could be so content?
But then their tour guide's body is found floating in the shallows and no one can explain the marks around her neck.

Jayne and Rajiv are pulled into a case that the police have already decided isn't one: a case that will pull at the seams of their fledgling relationships and lead Jayne into grave danger.

Angela Savage is a Melbourne-based crime writer, who has lived and travelled extensively in Asia. Her first novel, Behind the Night Bazaar, won the 2004 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript. She is a winner of the Scarlett Stiletto Award and has twice been shortlisted for Ned Kelly awards.

My Take

Jayne and Rajiv's newly formed partnership of Keeney and Patel, private investigators, is severely tested when they agree to investigate the suspicious death of their tour guide. Jayne is really too used to making decisions without reference to others. Rajiv on the other hand believes Jayne is far too impulsive and doesn't take into account the costs of the time she spends investigating. Jayne is only too willing to admit that she has made almost no profit as a private investigator so far.

The novel is set against economic and social issues besetting modern Thailand, particularly foreign and Thai businessmen trying to make quick profits without due consideration of the environmental impacts of their schemes. Villagers too are losing traditional rights when incomers seize on land that appears to belong to no-one. Others are worried by Thai locals becoming so heavily reliant on tourist income, and by the almost automatic degradation of the local way of life.

I was impressed in this novel by the author's empathetic depiction of village life and of Thai customs, of the responsibility felt by village elders, as well as the detailed explanation of the social and economic issues surrounding the murders. Angela Savage takes us a little away from the beaten track, out of Bangkok, to areas that have tourist potential, but where change/modernisation will come at a price.

I've included this novel in my list for the 2014 Global Reading Challenge in Asia (Thailand).

My rating: 4.5

I also reviewed  4.5, THE HALF-CHILD


Anonymous said...

Kerrie - Oh, I like this series very much. I'm glad you enjoyed this one ('course, I'm biased...).

Anonymous said...

I love Jayne Keeney as another independent, feisty, smart, and bold private detective, a la V.I. Warshawski.

And I like the background of Thailand, the culture, geography and historical facts. Many times has Jayne sent me to Google information, maps, photos, etc.

I'm looking forward to many more of Jayne's adventures in Thailand, and to further investigations of social issues.


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