Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bangkok Tattoo

I just returned from a visit to South East Asia and, as luck would have it, had taken John Burdett's book "Bangkok Tattoo" along with me, which proved to be both entertaining and provided some interesting background material for the Sukhumvit Road area I stayed in in Bangkok a couple of time during my travels.

Bangkok Tattoo is a murder-mystery story featuring a slightly corrupt Thai policeman, Sonchai Jitpleecheep, and his rather less upstanding superior officer, Colonel Vikorn, and their efforts to first cover up, and later solve, the mystery of an American found dead near one of Bangkok's red light districts - Soi Cowboy, where a go-go bar they own is located - while grappling with a range of unsavoury characters ranging from drug smuggling army officers to CIA agents to Islamic fundamentalists.

The novel functions as an interesting tourist guide to Bangkok (with a bit of Buddhist philosophy thrown in for good measure) as well as providing a rather jaded view of the American "war on terror" - worth a read.