By John Burdett
(Knopf, Hardcover, 9780307263186, 320pp.)
Publication Date: June 5, 2007
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Sonchai Jitpleecheep—the devout Buddhist Royal Thai Police detective who led us through the best sellers Bangkok 8 and Bangkok Tattoo—returns in this blistering new novel.
Sonchai has seen virtually everything on his beat in Bangkok’s District 8, but nothing like the video he’s just been sent anonymously: “Few crimes make us fear for the evolution of our species. I am watching one right now.”
He’s watching a snuff film. And the person dying before his disbelieving eyes is Damrong—a woman he once loved obsessively and, now it becomes clear, endlessly. And there is something more: something at the end of the film that leaves Sonchai both figuratively and literally haunted.
While his investigation will lead him through the office of the ever-scheming police captain, Vikorn (“Don’t spoil a great case with too much perfectionism,” he advises Sonchai); in and out of the influence of a perhaps psychotic wandering monk; and eventually into the gilded rooms of the most exclusive men’s club in Bangkok (whose members will do anything to protect their identities, and to explore their most secret fantasies), it also leads him to his own simple bedroom where he sleeps next to his pregnant wife while his dreams deliver him up to Damrong . . .
Ferociously smart and funny, furiously fast-paced, and laced through with an erotic ghost story that gives a new dark twist to the life of our hero, Bangkok Haunts does exactly that from first page to last.
John Burdett is the author of A Personal History of Thirst, The Last Six Million Seconds, Bangkok 8, and Bangkok Tattoo.