The land of the smile?
‘In the morning, I woke to feel the world on my shoulders, which is where it normally sits. I know there are other cops all over the planet who feel the same way. The steady accumulation of human dirt – let’s call it evil – makes it a little harder, day by day, to find the light.’ Vulture Peak
Thai Buddhist detective, Sonchai Jitpleecheep, is the son of a Thai prostitute and an American soldier based in the notorious District 8 in Bangkok.
John Burdett’s books are not for the squeamish, being ultra-violent, sexually extremely explicit, and with plots that steer away from reality into a kind of drug-fevered imangination fueled by yaa baa(methamphetamine).
The strength of the books lies in their descriptions of the seedy side of Thai streetlife and the struggle most people must endure to survive.
Corruption is rampant, not least in the Thai Royal Police, and Burdett is very good on the easy amorality of all levels of officialdom, often disguised as a ‘Buddhist’ acceptance of the realities of life.
The books gradually merge in a mass that increasingly fails to shock the more of them you read. Don’t read them expecting forensic analysis and methodical deduction. But at their best, you can’t stop turning the pages.
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