Days of our Lives!

July 7, 2012

Book Review: Bangkok Eight – John Burdett

Filed under: Books — Santhosh @ 11:59 PM

Book: Bangkok Eight (Sonchai Jitpleecheep #1)
Author: John Burdett
Genre: Fiction –> Crime

Now let’s say the setting of a murder mystery is the local park. In a typical whodunnit, the protagonist is on the jogging track, a little behind the antagonist. He jogs along at a good clip trying to identify the antagonist, he suddenly dashes in to the grassy area to speak to someone sitting on a bench, the ice cream vendor gives a mysterious tip, the antagonist’s goons rush on to the track to try and trip him up but he outwits them, he catches a faint glimpse of the antagonist just ahead, he speeds up, his family calls on his mobile but he ignores it, he’s catching up, the gap is closing faster, both are sprinting flat out now, he flings himself forward and tackles the antagonist and brings him to the ground. Everyone who watches this unfold talk about how “breathless” it was and “adrenaline rush” it gave them.

In this novel, Detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep is the protagonist. He does get onto the jogging track. But he also spends time on the grass (both varieties), sits to meditate, comments on the other people in the park, chats with old friends, and the whole experience is more intimate. As in life, things are also happening elsewhere in the park which may or may not have a bearing, he even meets the antagonist a few times, his mom who’s a former rent-wife gives him advise, the FBI female interest who wants to tear after the antagonist slowly accepts this way of life, everyone talks and thinks things through, revelations come in spurts, and at the end of it nobody gets arrested but everyone gets what they deserve. Everyone who watches this unfold talk about what’s for dessert.

A philosophy spewing, Buddhism mediating, farang addressed, yaa baa fueled, spiritual and cultural lesson of a murder mystery.

My Rating: 4/5

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