Earl Norman

The Earl Norman books are becoming extremely rare, and publishers don’t seem to be interested in reprinting the series. The only way some of us may ever have all the stories is for collectors to scan and type the stories into PDF to swap with other collectors. I have already completed PDFs of HANG ME IN HONG KONG and KILL ME IN ROPPONGI. I am working on KILL ME IN YOKOSUKA. If other collectors would do the same for some of the other books, we could eventually have PDFs of all ten books. Why not help? I can be contacted at fadingshadows40@gmail.com

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Angkor Cloth Angkor Gold

Cambodia, An ancient Kingdom of Wonder. After the devastation of the Khmer Rouge regime, hundreds of thousands of refugees – victims and Khmer Rouge soldiers – flee into Thailand as the Vietnamese invade Cambodian in 1979. In the disorder of one refugee camp, a killer targets young women. But with so much chaos in the camps, nothing is done and no one seems to care. With many refugees expatriated to France, the killer is among them, and continues to strike, in Paris and across Europe. Three decades later, and two murders in Phnom Penh have the same modus operandi as those previous deaths. Could it be the same killer? Can Brigadier General Chamreun and Lieutenant Sophie Chang discover the murderer's identity before they claim another victim?

Angkor Cloth Angkor Gold (Murder Mystery)
By Steven W. Palmer
Saraswati Publishing Cambodia
Price $5.99 (Kindle)
196 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

Cambodia, 2017: The Minister calls in Brigadier General Hoen Chamreun, a young military man, and introduces him to young police officer, Sopheak Chang. They are being assigned to a recent murder case that may involve the killer of the Minister’s sister four decades earlier. The killer is targeting young Khmer prostitutes, and the modus operandi matches murders committed in Cambodia, Thailand refugee camps, France, and Italy. The minister’s sister was not a prostitute, but also killed by the same person. And he wants closure, and the murderer brought to justice.

This was an interesting case, both a current homicide and a cold case investigation, and the investigators dig into the background of the old murders, hoping to find some clue that will tie the person to the current murders. Chamreun is an experienced soldier who has made a name for himself and his unit, and now working with Sophie, a Cambodian that was raised in America and trained as a homicide detective before returning to Cambodia. Both are experienced and want to bring the case to a close.

Readers are cautioned to pay attention to the dates. I didn’t and was confused through half the story until I decided to go back and look at the dates. The investigators bring in Sue Chapman from Interpol, plus use a computer hacker to help uncover records not easily obtainable, and correlate lists of names into a possible list of suspects. The narrative has two main POVs, that of the murderer, and that of Chamreun, but head hop a few times to Sophie and Sue Chapman. I’ve read numerous murder stories set in Cambodia and Thailand, all set in the sex industry, but this novel is more in-depth than mere sex. It goes deeper into the criminal mind and why the killer is targeting prostitutes. The title gives us a clue, but I won’t go into that. Too much detail could give the story away. There is a nice twist at the end of the story. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson


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