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Philippine Fever (A Sam Haine Mystery) (edition 2006)

by Bruce Cook

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112820,536 (4.13)None
Member:JeffV
Title:Philippine Fever (A Sam Haine Mystery)
Authors:Bruce Cook
Info:Capital Crime Press (2006), Paperback, 287 pages
Collections:Your library, To read
Rating:***1/2
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Philippine Fever (A Sam Haine Mystery) by Bruce R. Cook

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A complex murder mystery that introduces readers to the Philippines much in the same manner John Burdett takes us to Thailand. While I can't speak for the veracity of Burdett's portrayal of Bangkok, I can speak some of Cook's imagery of the Philippines, as I read this book while visiting that country.

ATF detective Sam Haine is sent to Manila to investigate the murder of a Oklahoma man suspected of weapons brokering. He arrives with slim ties to the country (his grandfather died during the Bataan Death March), and it his cultural education throughout the book I found most interesting. He works with local detectives, and the chain of evidence introduces him to the city's thriving sex scene (no, I'm not sure he didn't just lift the plot from Burdett).

The characters are an interesting bunch. The Japanese mastermind who still bears a grudge from WW2. The owner of the "American Club," a sex club whose glory days went by the wayside when the US closed their naval base at Subic Bay. The sister of the murder victim -- an ex-Marine whose "obnoxious American" routine was at least partially a put-on. A hooker and her pimp "brother" who are always seem to be more than they appear to be.

I liked the pace of the story and the character development -- until the end. The end seemed rushed. Many of the characters wound up dead, and some of the sub-plots left loose ends.

I'd be interested in additional stories set here -- mostly because of my familiarity with the setting. Unlike Burdett's Bangkok detective, however, the main character in Philippine Fever is not native but American. and there's no reason to expect detective Haine won't pop up elsewhere in his next story. I'm not so sure I'd follow him elsewhere. ( )
  JeffV | May 4, 2011 |
Another winner from Capital Crime Press along with Robert Fate's "Baby Shark" series and Troy Cook's (Bruce Cook's son) "47 Rules of Highly Effective Bank Robbers" and "The One-Minute Assassin." ( )
  magnumpigg | Nov 7, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0977627675, Paperback)

Harv Tucker, good ol? boy from Oklahoma, sells primo roosters in Manila, the world’s cockfighting capital. With his profits he buys Chinese AK-47’s, then sells them to paramilitary groups. When his body turns up behind one of Manila’s notorious sex clubs, the ensuing homicide investigation becomes international. Sam Haine, decorated ATF agent, teams up with a world-weary Filipino detective, Bogie Lorenzano. Though Sam is a fish out of water in the Philippines, and Bogie doesn’t care if Sam goes belly up, the two cops share a strong sense of justice. Many players vie for the container-load of guns, and traffic sex-slaves, buy indentured workers, sell industrial secrets, and arrange kidnappings for ransom. It’s all just business. Then Sam discovers that US intelligence may be involved with competing rebel groups and Bogie finds that his ex-lover is deeply involved in the crime syndicates, and the action heats up.

A riveting tale as contemporary as tomorrow’s breaking dawn. Bruce Cook is a major talent. -- Kent Braithwaite, The Wonderland Murders

A wild, convincing ride of a crime novel peopled with characters who stick long after the story ends. Cook needs to write another one---this cast should return. -- Kirk Russell, Deadgame

I couldn’t put it down. We eagerly look forward to more! -- Kim Reis, Armchair Interviews.com

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:54:22 -0400)

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