Sanchai Jipecheap #2: “Bangkok Tattoo” by John Burdett. A lot is going on in this second novel of the series. Sanchai is training a new partner on the District 8 Royal Thai Police, Lek, who is a woman trapped in a man’s body. Sanchai is also working for his mother at The Old Men’s Bar; catering to older Americans from the Vietnam era who come to Thailand on tours. One of the prostitutes returns from a trick with blood all over her, and high on Opium, claiming to have killed the customer. Sanchai discovers the body of a huge American has been castrated, and the skin on his back cut off. The prostitute, Chanya Phonychit is told by Colonel Vikorn to sign a false statement, and then disappear; the dead man is a CIA agent. Sure enough, the CIA wants to know what happened, and if Vikorn has any information he isn’t sharing the truth with them. The victim was only the first, however, for soon other men are found also castrated and their skin ripped off their back. The clues lead Sanchai to a famous Japanese tattooist living in Bangkok, but what’s behind the murders, and is Chanya in this deeper than she’s telling? This was another good mystery, though a bit slow in the beginning, as we are introduced to all the prostitutes and nightlife in Bangkok. Plus, even though two of the victims were CIA agents, this was merely a red herring, as were other leads. Of course, we shouldn’t have been fooled, as the title gives the case away, it has something to do with the tattoos, of course. Still, a good read, with interesting characters, and the author doesn’t try to teach you about Bangkok, instead he gives you a guided tour of the city and it’s people. Lots of fun.