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Bangkok Tattoo [Hardcover]

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Item description for Bangkok Tattoo by John Burdett...

Download DescriptionKilling customers just isn't good for business."

My mother Nong's tone reflects the disappointment we all feel when a star employee starts to go wrong. Is there nothing to be done? Will we have to let dear Chanya go? The question can only be decided by Police Colonel Vikorn, who owns most of the shares in the Old Man's Club and who is on his way in his Bentley.

"No," I agree. Like my mother's, my eyes cannot stop flicking across the empty bar to the stool where Chanya's flimsy silver dress (just enough silk to cover nipples and butt) drapes and drips. Well, the dripping was slight and is more or less finished (a rusty stain on the floor turning black as it dries), but in more than a decade as a detective in the Royal Thai Police, I have never seen a garment so blood-soaked. Chanya's bra, also hideously splattered, lies halfway up the stairs, and her panties---her only other garment---lie abandoned on the floor outside the upstairs room where, eccentrically even for a Thai whore, she has taken refuge with an opium pipe.

"She didn't say anything at all? Like why?"

"No, I told you. She dashed in through the door in a bit of a state holding an opium pipe, glared at me, said, 'I've done him in,' ripped off her dress, and disappeared upstairs. Fortunately, there were only a couple of farang in the bar at the time, and the girls were fantastic. They merely said, 'Oh, Chanya, she goes like that sometimes,' and gently ushered them out. I had to play the whole thing down, of course, and by the time I got to her room, she was already stoned."

"What did she say again?"

"She was tripping on the opium, totally delirious. When she started talking to the Buddha, I left to call you and the Colonel. At that stage I didn't know if she'd really done him in or was freaking out on yaa baa or something."

But she'd snuffed him all right. I walked to the farang's hotel, which is just a couple of streets away from Soi Cowboy, and flashed my police ID to get the key to his room. There he was, a big muscular naked American farang in his early thirties, minus a penis and a lot of blood from a huge knife wound that began in his lower gut and finished just short of his rib cage. Chanya, a basically decent and very tidy Thai, had placed his penis on the bedside table. At the other end of the table, a single rose stood in a plastic mug of water.

There was nothing for it but to secure the room for the purposes of forensic investigation, leave a hefty bribe for the hotel receptionist---who is now more or less obliged to say whatever I tell him to say (standard procedure under my Colonel Vikorn in District 8)---and await further orders. Vikorn, of course, was in one of his clubs carousing, probably surrounded by naked young women who adored him, or knew how to look as if they did, and in no mood to be dragged to the scene of a crime until I penetrated his drunken skull enough to explain that the business at hand was not an investigation per se but the infinitely more challenging forensic task so lightly spoken of as a "cover-up." Even then he showed no inclination to shift himself until he realized it was Chanya (the perp, not the victim).

"Where the hell did she get the opium?" my mother wants to know. "There hasn't been opium in Krung Thep since I was a teenager."

I know from her eyes that she is thinking fondly of the Vietnam War, when she was herself a working girl in Bangkok and a lot of the GIs brought small balls of opium from the war zone (one of them being my almost-anonymous father, of whom more later). An opiated man is more or less impotent---which reduces much of the wear and tear on a professional's assets---and not inclined to argue about fee str

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Item Specifications...

Pages   368
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.8" Width: 6" Height: 1.2"
Weight:   1.4 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jul 15, 2005
Publisher   Roca Editorial
ISBN  8496284832  
ISBN13  9788496284838  

Availability  0 units.

More About John Burdett

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! John Burdett is a nonpracticing lawyer who worked in Hong Kong for a British firm until he found his true vocation as a writer. Since then, he has lived in France and Spain and is now back in Hong Kong. He is the author of A Personal History of Thirst and The Last Six Million Seconds.

John Burdett was born in 1967.

John Burdett has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Vintage

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > Spanish > Literatura y ficción
2Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > General
3Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > Mystery > General
4Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > Thrillers > Suspense

Reviews - What do customers think about Bangkok Tattoo?

worth reading  Jul 12, 2008
If you have enjoyed reading the other books featuring Detective Jitleecheep in Bangkok; you will also take pleasure in this fun, interesting and complicated story. John Burdett is a great writer who has plenty of interesting insights into Thailand. I didn't expect the (different) ending. Treat yourself!
A Little Too Much Sex and Drug Use  Jul 1, 2008
While I enjoy books about Southest Asia police work this one went a little over the top in its vivid descriptions of the sex life in Bangkok, and drug use. I often visit Thailand on business and have never seen the corruption the author tals about. Relative to drug use NONE of the Thai officers I know are users. The book gives a bleak desciption of Thai life and if believed could lead some not to travel there. The culmination with the mutilation style killing really ruined the mystery portions of the novel. I will buy no more John Burdett novels.
Another fascinating tale  Jun 14, 2008
I've read several Burkett titles, and I'd recommend this one as a nice addition to his Asian tales. This would also make an excellent first selection to buy if it's your first taste of his writing. I admit my fascination with his writing has a bit to do with spending some time in Bangkok on business and sneaking out at night and tiptoeing through the jungle.

Having lived there for decades, John has an innate talent of penning intricate descriptions to truly capture the essence of this bizarre city and it's equally bizarre cast of characters. This book follows along the lines of the others, with the storyline beginning in search of one mystery, and numerous others unfold along the way. Great title if you're in the mood for something completely different.
Visit the Street Life in Bangkok  Jun 1, 2008
Having lived in Bangkok one year as an expat, I was very curious about John Burdett and his three books set in Bangkok. I got ahold of the second one first, Bangkok Tattoo. I have since ordered the other two. The humor makes you laugh outloud! It is right on. I loved his calling the reader farang, or foreigner. It is a word I heard often in Bangkok as the Thais commented to themselves about the many foreigners in their midst.

Burdett has written an intriguing mystery. It contains, among other things, a humanized Thai whore; a mainly corrupt group of Thai cops and detectives; a CIA agent lost in his own mind; a philosophical Thai narrator and countless facts about the street life in Bangkok. The murders are horrendous and unique. The asides about Buddhism are wonderful. I can't wait to sink myself in to Bangkok 8, and I highly recommend this talented writer to mystery lovers everywhere.

Cheryl Smith
Surpasses the first...  Mar 23, 2008
In Bangkok Tattoo, we are reunited with the enchanting Detective Jitpleecheep who, while still trying desperately to walk the Buddhist Middle Path, is investigating another grisly homicide and reluctantly helping his mother run a popular brothel on the side. To complicate matters further, Sonchai has fallen in love with the extraordinary Chanya, prostitute extraordinaire, who also happens to be the prime suspect in the murder. While as casually risqué as its predecessor, Bangkok 8, with plenty of insight into the city's famous red light district, this entry also deeply explores Buddhist philosophy and provides more of that fascinating social commentary on the disparities between the West and the East. I enjoyed this entry even more than the first, right up to the last paragraph, a finale of whimsical artistry that had me smiling with secret delight (at 4:00 in the morning). Sonchai is utterly unique. I think I've fallen in love with a fictional character.

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