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Asia Hand: A Vincent Calvino Novel Paperback – July 13, 2010


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Frequently Bought Together

Asia Hand: A Vincent Calvino Novel + Spirit House: A Vincent Calvino Crime Novel (Vincent Calvino Novels) + Paying Back Jack: A Vincent Calvino Novel (Vincent Calvino Series)
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Product Details

  • Series: Vincent Calvino
  • Paperback: 266 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press, Black Cat; F 1st Printing edition (July 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802170730
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802170736
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,056,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

First published in 1993 in Thailand in a small English-language edition, Moore's stylish second Bangkok thriller featuring disbarred American lawyer Vincent Calvino (after Spirit House) finds Calvino and his best friend, Col. Prachai "Pratt" Chongwatana of the Thai police, investigating the death of U.S. ex-pat Jerry Hutton, a freelance cameraman. Hutton drowned in a lake while wearing "a necklace of small wooden penises," amulets worn by upcountry farmers, not foreigners. Was it an accident, suicide, or murder? The trail leads to a mysterious American colonel involved with a movie being filmed in Bangkok, Lucky Charms, whose purpose has more to do with spies and murder than entertainment. Calvino and Pratt quote a lot of Shakespeare as the author explores the dark side of both Bangkok and the human heart. Felicitous prose speeds the action along, as in this snapshot of a Thai bar girl: "Her meter had clocked more than a few miles; but she was still roadworthy as she turned the last corner on her thirties").
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The author’s latest Bangkok thriller finds private investigator Vincent Calvino looking into the death of someone he knows, a man whose body was pulled from a lake. The dead man was a freelance news cameraman, and it appears that something he caught on film led to his murder. But who’s the killer, and can Calvino find him before his own life is cut short? The author, who’s lived in Bangkok for more than two decades, fills the novel with authentic settings; on the other hand, his novels aren’t travelogues, and he never loses sight of his characters and their story. Fans of this long-running series (this is the eleventh installment) will completely enjoy this novel, and it should also be highly recommended to readers of hard-boiled detective fiction, including series set in Bangkok (especially John Burdetts Sonchai Jitplecheep novels) as well as the classic American tough-guy authors (Raymond Chandler or, more recently, Robert B. Parker). --David Pitt

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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I read this book while living my fourth of five years in Bangkok.
Garman H
Still,even dealing with one Calvino personality reminds me of why I keep returning to my beloved Thailand and why the kingdom WILL be my permenant home in the future.
Sean Bunzick
Asia Hand is the second in the popular Vincent Calvino P.I. crime series.
Jai Roon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John Cummings on August 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
Asia Hand was one of the first books that C.G. Moore wrote about the Bangkok based private investigator named Vincent Calvino and his friend in the Bangkok police, LTC Pratt. The Calvino series are great (easy) reading and many foreign visitors could learn from "Calvino's rules." My favorite Calvino's rule is "only marry an orphan." This novel follows Calvino throughout Bangkok in search of the killer of a foreigner. Hints of the occult and insite into the Thai ways of thinking about life around them makes every page interesting.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Sean Bunzick on June 23, 2002
Format: Paperback
Yes,once again Christopher G. Moore has scored a direct hit in his unique--and highly qualified--outlook at the world of expatriates living in Bangkok.Vinnie Calvino and Col.Pratt are back together again going through all the weird-little-worlds occupied by farang expats and the Thai people they both mesh and clash with,particularly the bargirls of Sukhumvit Road.
If you want to see and learn what life is like for the expats, this is the best way to go.If you've lived in Thailand or visit it on a regular basis,as I do,you'll feel very much at home with the storyline,the characters and the general mentality of all those you meet and observe.As other reviewers have pointed out,this tale IS somewhat scary but as far as reading entertainment goes,you'll have fun with this tale,I promise.
What I also find great sanuk,in my usual overly-cynnical manner,is that the worst of the "bad guys" are either Americans or contolled by American forces.I have met both these people and the Vinnie Calvinos--BOTH groups "Asia Hands"--and what can be more than somewhat scary is that,in most cases,the "bad guys" outnumber the Calvinos.Still,even dealing with one Calvino personality reminds me of why I keep returning to my beloved Thailand and why the kingdom WILL be my permenant home in the future.Please read "Asia Hand" and do what most of us do:enjoy the hell out of it!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lynn Harnett VINE VOICE on October 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
Originally published in 1993, this is the second of eleven atmospheric Bangkok-set Vincent Calvino series. Calvino, a disbarred American lawyer turned tough-guy PI, won't let it go when a sad-sack American neighbor, cameraman Jerry Hutton, is found dead in a park lake during Chinese New Year celebrations.

Hutton who had poor judgment and worse luck, had just happened upon his big break - filming the point-blank execution of three Burmese students by Burmese military. Every news station has picked it up and a documentary filmmaker planned to include it, and Hutton, in a new movie project.

But Calvino thinks there's something fishy about Hutton's footage. Especially after an assassin targets him later that night. Trading coded Shakespeare quotes with his friend Police Colonel Pratt, Calvino keeps kicking roadblocks (mostly human) out of his way as he navigates the alleys, slums, back rooms and scariest of all, the politics, of his adopted country, to expose the crime and the killer.

Moore puts you on the streets of Bangkok, immersing us farangs in the color, confusion and quickly seized opportunities of city life, particularly on the fringes. The prose crackles with classic noir style though Moore never overdoes it. Fast-paced and street-wise, this is a character and place-driven series for anyone who enjoys John Burdett or Timothy Hallinan.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Garman H on November 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
I read this book while living my fourth of five years in Bangkok. This book maps the reality many expats live and fear each day. I could trace my own footsteps through the pages.
Recommended if you want to read the reality and fear the consequences. For those of you wanting an adventure, your stomachs will churn.
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