Asia,  Book Reviews,  FICTION,  Mystery,  Suspense

Bangkok 8 by John Burdett *** (of 4)

It’s a mystery. I read mysteries not for the crime but to learn something about other places and times. This one takes place inside the sex industry of Bangkok, Thailand, but the sex is neither titillating, nor repulsive, but rather treated as a business by the protagonist, an incorruptible cop on the Thai police force. I can’t recall his name (I finished the book two weeks ago), but he’s a Buddhist cop, so there’s much to learn about Buddhism, and is purported to be the only cop in Thailand who doesn’t take bribes or sleep with prostitutes. So that’s a twist on the hard-drinking, womanizing detective normally found in these stories. The characters are likeable, personable, and believable. The plot clicks along. There’s humor and suspense. It’s a good story. October 2004.