A startling, unique and provocative novel, hailed by Carl Hiassen, Jeffrey Deaver and James Ellroy as 'suspense at its best; the wildest ride in modern crime exoticum; the last and most compelling word in thrillers.'
In surreal Bangkok, city of temples and brothels, where Buddhist monks in saffron robes walk the same streets as world-class gangsters, a US marine sergeant is killed inside a locked Mercedes by a maddened python and a swarm of cobras. Two policemen - the only two in the city not on the take - arrive too late. Minutes later, only one is alive.
The cop left standing, Sonchai Jitpleecheep, is a devout Buddhist and swears to avenge the death of his partner and soul brother. To do so he must use the forensic techniques of the modern policing and his own profound understanding of the mystical workings of the spirit world.Both will be vital as he immerses himself in the moneyed underbelly of Bangkok - where desire rules and where he will eventually find the killer, a predator of an even more sinister variety...
“'Cracking East-meets-West thriller introducing a half-Thai, half-American cop whose Buddhist beliefs are as important as his forensic skills. Terrific'”
“'A stunning thriller! Bangkok 8 is suspense at its best: a masterfully written tale set in a world that's perfectly evoked and populated with compelling, flesh and blood characters'”
“'Bangkok 8 is one of the most startling and provocative mysteries that I've read in years. The characters are marvellously unique, the setting is intoxication and the plot unwinds in dark illusory strands, reminiscent of Gorky Park. Once I started, I didn't put it down'”
“'Read this book, savor the language - it's the last and the most compelling word in thrillers'”
“'John Burdett infuses the plot with enough suspense, detail and dry Asian insight to keep readers rapt as the story careens about the bars and brothels of Thailand, taking in its flesh trade and cut-rate plastic surgery parlours and ending in a climax with a fittingly Buddhist twist. Bangkok 8 is highly recommended'”
“'The real star is Bangkok, a city in mutation, capital of sex and gender surgery, against whose lurid foreground most characters appear puny. It's a strangely tender, Utopian vision...that combines SF clarity with something more fluid, as non-negotiable and irrational as a dream'”
“'Quirky, talky and highly entertaining... But all this smart talk does not diminish the overwhelming presence of the sprawling, chaotic, illogical city with its jampacked bars and impassable streets, that invigorates this remarkable novel and makes it something to enjoy for its sheer bravado'”
New York Times Book Review
“'It is not unusual for the Western detective story to be transported into Far Eastern surroundings. But it is the rare novel that offers a seductive and engaging local protagonist of such a story, penned by an Easterner. This does both with resounding success, as well as adding a dimension not typically found in the genre'”
San Francisco Chronicle
“'Impeccably researched, this is sometimes poetic, often exotic and totally hardcore'”
“'Wow! Partly 'normal' thriller and partly off-the-beaten-track Buddhist narrative ... An original and gripping novel'”
“'John Burdett is purely and simply a wonderful writer, a genuine grown-up at work in a genre mostly populated by arrested adolescents...Bangkok 8 is a tour de force'”
“'To say that Bangkok 8 in set in Bangkok is an understatement: it is suffused with the cooking smells, mired in the traffic jams and entangled in the bare limbs of the sex workers... not that the novel is slow going. Bangkok 8 goes from 0 to 60 in about 10 pages'”
“'Like a modern-day Indiana Jones adventure written by Evelyn Waugh...One of this season's cleverest and most stylish entertainments'”
Wall Street Journal