Sonchai Jipecheap #5: “Vulture Peak” by John Burdett. Bangkok’s GMP GNP is prostitution and drugs, but occasionally more vulgar crimes surface. But this is where the police are as corrupt as the worse criminals, and this includes District 8, ruled over by Colonel Vikorn, head of the police. His only honest cop, Sonchai Jipecheap, is delegated the crimes that must be solved to keep the colonel in good with American FBI and CIA. In fact, the Americans want to elevate Colonel Vikorn to Mayor of Bangkok, on his way up to governor. But his nemesis, General Zinna is running against him, so Vikorn’s top detective must solve a big case this time. It must be a case big enough to put Vikorn at the very top of the political field. The colonel points him towards the gruesome trade in body parts, run by Lily and Poly Yip, twin sisters from Hong Kong, who are operating across Asia. China is providing executed prisoners, while the twins gather customers around the world. Already billionaires, they have much power in Asia, and are under the protection of General Zinna. It’s up to Sonchai and Detective Chan from Hong Kong to bust the case, but Chan is a little bit crazy, and the beautiful prostitute named, Om, sidetracks Sonchai. The case seems to lead back to a mountain mansion in Phuket, called Vulture Peak. A fun series, well written, with a descriptive look at Bangkok.
Saturday, April 30, 2016
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Sonchai Jipecheap #4: “The Godfather of Kathmandu” by John Burdett. The murder of a rich American filmmaker appears ritualistic, but a film discovered shows it was a suicide. Still, Sonchai isn’t satisfied, and won’t be until he solves the case. Working with him is Detective Sukum, who doesn’t like Sonchai, but wants a promotion. When the investigation leads to a rich Chinese woman of high education and power in Bangkok, Sukum isn’t too anxious to pursue the case further. In the meantime, a mysterious Tibetan religious man is offering forty million dollars worth of heroin to Vikorn and Zinna, as neither can come up with the case on their own. This means they will have to form a partnership in the transaction. To make matters worse, Vikorn, who is a fan of the American Godfather movies, makes Sonchair a consigliere. How can a true Buddhist stoop to such low deeds? This was another fascinating murder mystery in the worldly Bangkok.