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Bangkok Haunts by John Burdett
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Bangkok Haunts

by John Burdett

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6091916,018 (3.6)28
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Bailing out of this one. The ick factor is way too high for me.
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
A great read, though perhaps a little longer than it needed to be. As usual, lots of gender bending, Buddhist mysticism, Thai and Khmer superstition, corruption, prostitution, pornography, etc., but with a great haunted twist at the end (which some may find a bit too much, but I bought into it). I think this third novel in the series was better than the third, about as good as the first. ( )
  belgrade18 | Nov 4, 2012 |
This book surprised me. Once I started I could not put it down. Burdett reached out to an ambitious breadth of topics - Thai culture, crime, suspense, witchcraft, snuff, prostitution, corruption, Buddhism, etc. - and pulled it all together. Sonchai is a great character and I look forward to now reading the rest of Burdett's works. ( )
  galacticus | Dec 30, 2011 |
Not nearly as good as his earlier books. I used to live in Bangkok and found that Burdett was close to the scene there, but there are so many basic mistakes in this book that it reads like someone who has been given a quick lesson on Thai language and culture and forgotten half of it. That aside, the plot is plodding. I'll keep reading to find out who the murderer(s?) is, but I won't be buying another in this series. ( )
  arberybooks | Jun 11, 2010 |
The audiobook is well narrated by Glen McCready. Bangkok Haunts is a mystery/police novel set in Thailand. It's part of a series featuring a Buddhist detective who is half farang (white Westerner) and half Thai. The series is written by a white Englishman who spent a long time in Hong Kong and Bangkok.The detective narrates the book and addresses the reader as "farang," which gives him the excuse to deliver big expository lumps about Thai culture. A very big deal is made throughout the book about the ineffable differences between Western culture and Eastern/Thai culture. I know very little about Thailand so I have no idea whether the picture painted about the culture is accurate. Based on the picture painted of Western culture, it seems plausible but stereotyped/exaggerated.I enjoyed this book and might read more of this series, but I would consider it a guilty pleasure, because this book includes such offensive stereotypes as:"Revengeful suicidal prostitute who is so good at what she does that she makes every man she touches fall in love with her""Kathoey (transsexual) cop with a heart of gold" "Homicidal Buddhist monk with multiple personalities""Pregnant wife who does nothing but stay home and cook"Along with such stupid stereotypes as:"Multiple rich powerful men fighting over prostitute""Rich powerful Thai banker politely and indirectly negotiating with police chief about how much the police chief is going to blackmail him for" ( )
  firecat | Jun 11, 2010 |
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Epigraph
You cast your spell and I went under

I find it so difficult to leave



Bob Dylan, "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here with You"

The Eternal passed by in the form of a pimp. the prattle ceased.



Jean Genet, Out Lady of the Flowers

The clinging consciousness is very deep and subtle;

All potentials are like a torrential flow.

I do not explain this to the ignorant,

For fear they will get the idea it is self.


The Gautama Buddha, The Sandhinirmochana Sutra

Dedication
For Nit
First words
Few crimes make us fear for the evolution of the species.
Quotations
I am yours in Dharma, Sonchai Jitpleecheep.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307263185, Hardcover)

Sonchai Jitpleecheep—the devout Buddhist Royal Thai Police detective who led us through the best sellers Bangkok 8 and Bangkok Tattoo—returns in this blistering new novel.

Sonchai has seen virtually everything on his beat in Bangkok’s District 8, but nothing like the video he’s just been sent anonymously: “Few crimes make us fear for the evolution of our species. I am watching one right now.”

He’s watching a snuff film. And the person dying before his disbelieving eyes is Damrong—a woman he once loved obsessively and, now it becomes clear, endlessly. And there is something more: something at the end of the film that leaves Sonchai both figuratively and literally haunted.

While his investigation will lead him through the office of the ever-scheming police captain, Vikorn (“Don’t spoil a great case with too much perfectionism,” he advises Sonchai); in and out of the influence of a perhaps psychotic wandering monk; and eventually into the gilded rooms of the most exclusive men’s club in Bangkok (whose members will do anything to protect their identities, and to explore their most secret fantasies), it also leads him to his own simple bedroom where he sleeps next to his pregnant wife while his dreams deliver him up to Damrong . . .

Ferociously smart and funny, furiously fast-paced, and laced through with an erotic ghost story that gives a new dark twist to the life of our hero, Bangkok Haunts does exactly that from first page to last.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:33:25 -0400)

Just when he thinks he's seen everything Bangkok's thriving criminal world has to offer, Royal Thai police detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep receives an unpleasant surprise--an anonymous snuff film. A woman named Damrong--someone he once loved and who still haunts his memories--is murdered in the film. Obsessed with Damrong's death, Sonchai braves street gangs, investigates a shady and exclusive men's club, and staves off threats, seen and unseen, as he pieces together the scattered clues.… (more)

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