A Good Death (Hardcover)
St. Martins Press-3pl, 9781250012319, 296pp.
Publication Date: February 19, 2013
"A first rate mystery, beautifully crafted, fast-paced, and populated with the most vivid (and at times seamy) characters... A bravura debut " --Douglas Preston, #1 bestselling co-author of the Pendergast series of novels
A nail-biting debut mystery that plunges readers into the seamy side streets of late-90s Bangkok and across the untamed mountains of the Lao-Vietnam border, hot on the heels of an alluring woman who's officially dead - unless she's masterminded a half-million-dollar life-insurance scam
An expertly crafted debut, A GOOD DEATH introduces Sebastian Damon, a sharp-witted though struggling Boston PI who catches an intriguing case. Linda Watts is a beautiful, talented Southeast Asian refugee with a promising career in finance--or she was, until she turned up dead, the victim of a heroin OD, in a cheap Bangkok guest house. Her death seemed straightforward to the Thai authorities, but her insurance company isn't buying it. They send Sebastian halfway around the world to investigate--where he finds himself confounded and completely out of place chasing faint leads through the broken, bewildering streets of Thailand's teeming capital.
An award-winning journalist with decades of experience traveling in and reporting on Southeast Asia, Christopher R. Cox takes readers on a vibrant journey through a corrupt police bureaucracy, a network of steamy Bangkok nightclubs and grimy hostels to a place where you can you feel the humid air and smell the stir-fried street food. Along the way, Sebastian finds romance as he falls for a captivatingly mysterious woman and camaraderie with his father's wise-cracking old Special Forces wingman -- an expat who can navigate Bangkok's chaotic underbelly and the wild mountains of Laos with equal aplomb. For Sebastian, it's the assignment of a lifetime, a chase that will lead him to a long-buried truth at the heart of all the dark lies, a quest that will change him forever in this richly imagined, compelling debut perfect for fans of John Burdett.
About the Author
Praise For A Good Death…
Named one of 2013’s best crime novels by Booklist
“A story that channels Conrad, Kipling, and Francis Ford Coppola… An insightful, transcendent adventure. Cox, who has traveled Asia for three decades, creates a vivid sense of place, ties his characters’ rich backstories to the tragic war, and illuminates the current plight of Laotian hill tribes. A Good Death is another example of the only positive to emerge from the Vietnam War—fine writing.” –Booklist, starred review
“Cox’s action-packed debut is perfect for armchair travelers who will be amazed by the author’s ability to make gaudy Bangkok and the remote hill country of Laos come alive... Award-winning journalist Cox puts his travel writing skills to good use in a book that is perfect for fans of Tim Hallinan and Hilary Davidson.” –Library Journal, starred review
“Intrigue aplenty… Throughout it all, veteran journalist Cox’s first novel gradually and expertly turns up the heat, doling out the exotic details by careful teaspoons early on before plunging Sebastian into a world far from his comfort zone. A debut thriller whose predominant tone, as its title suggests, is a profound sadness that no death, not even for an insurance company’s client, is a good death.” --Kirkus
“Those fond of exotic foreign locales will welcome journalist Cox’s mystery debut, set in Southeast Asia… Vivid descriptive prose.” –Publishers Weekly
“If you didn’t already know it, you’d swear Christopher R. Cox was an experienced traveler and journalist, due to the evocative and often haunting descriptions of the far-flung locales of his debut mystery novel, A Good Death…. Cox impressively and skillfully incorporates Sebastian’s past with the events leading him to Bangkok in the opening chapters. Along the way, and throughout the book, the author treats us to wonderfully effective and sensory-filled descriptions of the areas.” –Bookgasm.com
“A first rate mystery, beautifully crafted, fast-paced, and populated with the most vivid (and at times seamy) characters. But what lifts this novel way above most others are the exquisitely realized settings, from sizzling Bankok nightclubs to the deep, suffocating jungles of Laos. A bravura debut!” --Douglas Preston, #1 bestselling co-author of the Pendergast series of novels
“A Good Death takes readers into the wild, wild east of Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos—and keeps them there with an engaging mystery, told by compelling, complex characters. Like its exotic locales, Mr. Cox’s vibrant, colorful, and crisp prose will capture your attention from beginning to the end.” --Loung Ung, national bestselling author of First They Killed My Father
"Memorable characters riding a high-speed roller coaster of a plot against a backdrop that drips with the seductive scents and images of Southeast Asia--Cox's debut novel proves him to be a masterful storyteller." –Eliot Pattison, Edgar-Award winning author of Mandarin Gate
“Christopher R. Cox blends grit, heart, and a reporter’s eye to create unforgettable characters and a haunting story. He brings Bangkok alive in detail that will make you feel you’ve walked its perilous streets yourself. A Good Death is a great debut!” –Steve Ulfelder, Edgar-nominated author of The Whole Lie