BANGKOK HAUNTS, by John Burdett

Another wacky, graphic, multi-cultural romp through the underbelly of Bangkok, this is emphatically not for the reader of cozys or devotees of cupcake-baking sleuths. Devout Buddhist and cop Sonchai Jitpleecheep investigates a genuine snuff film with a victim he knew well. Far too well, actually. The former prostitute had mesmerized uncounted numbers of males, and he was one that fell hard while the victim worked at the brothel Sonchai and his mother owns. (I know, but read the novel and all will be made more or less clear; this is Thailand, after all) When Sonchai's superior, the awesomely corrupt Colonel Vikorn, gets into the act, things go off the rails, but not quite as far as Sonchai at first fears. Click below for more...
An old FBI friend flies to Thailand and assists Sonchai and his assistant, a katooey, in his investigation. Intent in part on his future sex-change operation, the beautiful katooey has connections in areas germane to the murder. Murder-by-elephant appears, as do nocturnal seductions by the deceased. Somehow, Burdett keeps the stakes rising. I love the entire multi-layered scene. It's a 5. Read them in order, starting with Bangkok 8.
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