Bangkok 8

Bangkok 8

Book - 2003
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Electrifying, darkly comic, razor-edged--a thriller unlike any other.

Under a Bangkok bridge, inside a bolted-shut Mercedes: a murder by snake--a charismatic African American Marine sergeant killed by a methamphetamine-stoked python and a swarm of stoned cobras.

Two cops--the only two in the city not on the take--arrive too late. Minutes later, only one is alive: Sonchai Jitpleecheep--a devout Buddhist, equally versed in the sacred and the profane--son of a long-gone Vietnam War G.I. and a Thai bar girl whose subsequent international clientele contributed richly to Sonchai's sophistication.

Now, his partner dead, Sonchai is doubly compelled to find the murderer, to maneuver through the world he knows all to well--illicit drugs, prostitution, infinite corruption--and into a realm he has never before encountered: the moneyed underbelly of the city, where desire rules and the human body is no less custom-designable than a raw hunk of jade. And where Sonchai tracks the killer--and a predator of an even more sinister variety.

Thick with the authentic--and hallucinogenic--atmosphere of Bangkok, crowded with astonishing characters, uniquely smart and skeptical, literary and wildly readable, Bangkok 8 is one of a kind.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2003.
ISBN: 9781400040445
Characteristics: 317 pages ;,25 cm.
Alternative Title: Bangkok eight


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Jun 01, 2018

the intro to the wonderful characters that have a real soul.

martins_mom Apr 22, 2017

Recommended by my Buddhist brother, this is an unusual story of police corruption in Thailand, with a thoughtful young policeman who tries to follow the Buddha's teachings in the midst of it as the main character.

Apr 16, 2017

I wish I had a better memory for the books I read - I recall that I loved all the Jitpleecheep mysteries but I can never recall details. I believe I confused this story with the 2nd book but either one is terrifically interesting. I am always intrigued by the combination of exotic locations and good mystery stories. I truly love reading about everyday life in Italy, Turkey, India and Thailand to name only a few. I find Thai sensibilities to be very interesting - the attitudes about sex, religion and politics are so extremely pragmatic and laissez-faire it makes me almost wish I lived there - except for the genocide, repression and horribly depressing dishonesty of the police & politicians. Anyway, Burdett writes with a very sly & dry humor about the whole situation and on top of that, he crafts a damned good mystery. One of my absolute favorite series.

Dec 15, 2014

I enjoyed this book. The sights and sounds of Bangkok are captured here nicely. Full review here:

Aug 04, 2013

John Burdett is that invaluable rarety, the expatriate who fully understands the people and political theater of the country he resides (Thailand in particular, the Asian area in general) along with grasping the BIG picture. His books just get better and better, and reading his last several will make you a believer too!

Aug 03, 2013

A good hard-boiled detective story, with lots of Bangkok atmosphere.

Jun 03, 2010

Raw and gritty. A unique spin on the detective genre.

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