Sunday, January 16, 2011
The Godfather of Kathmandu - John Burdett (Sonchai Jitplecheep #4) (THAILAND/NEPAL)
The fourth installment featuring Bangkok's finest Buddhist detective features Sonchai at the crossroads of his career and his own personal tragedy. As the corrupt Colonel Vikorn convinces Sonchai to become his own personal consigliere, Sonchai sets out to solve the murder of a famous Hollywood director, while at the same time, traveling to Kathmandu to broker a drug sale of immense political importance. While in Nepal, Sonchai finds himself under the spell of Tietsen, an exiled Tibetan lama. As in his past adventures, Sonchai's ethics are tested - though this time, given his incredible need to escape the physical world, he is more often than not under the influence of marijuana or other drugs made readily available to him by his superiors, as well as the prostitutes he often finds himself in bed with (literally and figuratively). Burdett went a little off the deep end with this one, but I still found myself rooting for old Sonchai, even when he let his material carnal self get the better of him.