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Wednesday 21 September 2016

‘The Bangkok Asset’ by John Burdett

Published by Corsair,
1 September 2016.
ISBN: 978-1-4721-5144-5 (PBO)

Sonchai Jitpleecheep is a Buddhist detective of the Royal Thai Police Force. All his life he has been obsessed with finding out who his father is, he only knows he is American.

Sonchai is called to the gruesome murder of a 12 year old girl who it seems has had her head literally pulled off of her body, no one has seen anything like it before. Who or what could have such incredible strength to commit such a hideous crime? Written on a mirror in the same room as the girl are the words “Detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep I know who (the next word is a smudge) father is”. This makes him more determined than ever to find his father.

The Asset in the title is an American of super human strength, one of many who are called transhumans. Some think it possible that America has developed a new military weapon.

Sonchai's enquiries take him to a well hidden compound in the Cambodian jungle where there live several American veterans from the Vietnam war. He discovers some very worrying truths which lead him to wonder how far America will go to hide its highly controversial secrets. He also at last discovers his father's identity and that he has a half brother.

This was certainly a very different book and gives rise to a few rather thought provoking theories. It doesn't concern actual robots but rather 'enhanced humans' and seems more than a little plausible.  At the same time it gives a bit of an insight into the Thai people and their way of life. As I have been to Bangkok, be it only briefly, I found this very interesting.

In England we think there is bribery and corruption in this country but we are as pure as the driven snow compared to Thailand and their police force according to this book!

I understand this is the fifth book set in Bangkok and concerning Sonchai, I would certainly like to read the others as I felt as though I was only just getting to know him. A good read.
Reviewer: Tricia Chappell

John Burdett practiced law for 14 years in London and Hong Kong until he was able to retire to write full time. He has lived in France, Spain, Hong Kong and the U.K. and now commutes between Bangkok and Southwest France.

Tricia Chappell. I have a great love of books and reading, especially crime and thrillers. I play the occasional game of golf  (when I am not reading). My great love is cruising especially to far flung places, when there are long days at sea for plenty more reading! I am really enjoying reviewing books and have found lots of great new authors.

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