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The inimitable hero of Vulture Peak is Royal Thai Police Detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep. He’s not your everyday police detective. In his own words, here’s how he came to be where he is today.
Call me Sonchai, you probably won't be able to pronounce the rest of my name (Jitpleecheep), farang (Westerners) never can. You won't find me in any official histories of the Vietnam War (we just call it The War over here), but it produced me and quite a few thousand like me. They tell me that in those days a drafted man was entitled to about one week's R&R during his tour of one year. Add in flight time from Saigon to Bangkok, and you're left with a window of about five days for Dad (whoever you are, wherever you are) to impregnate a bargirl called Nong and disappear again forever. Mum tells me it was real love, even if she did make Dad pay for it. She's very tough. I imagine when she realised he wasn't going to show up to cop the full bill of child support, she just shrugged and got on with the business of survival, at which she proved to be a kind of genius. She owns her own bar now, where I moonlight; my daytime job is detective in the Royal Thai Police Force, under the world-famous Police Colonel Vikorn. He's the one loaned mum the money to start her bar called The Old Man's Club. Sure, I went through that rebellious streak that illegitimate half-casts are famous for (stole cars and smoked dope during my wild days, before mum took me in hand and made me ordain as a monk for a year in a strict forest monastery in the far north), but I'm very well adjusted now. I live with my wife Chanya, who used to work at The Old Man's Club, and I get my dope from the cops, so I don't need to break the law--ha, ha.
Farang, I am yours in dharma,
Vulture Peak is the fifth in a series of detective novels featuring detective/Buddhist monk manqué Sonchai Jitpleecheep. Read morePublished 9 hours ago by Gino Cox
In John Burdett's fifth novel featuring Thai detective Sonchai Jiptleecheep, Bangkok's best and least-corrupt cop is once again tasked with a mission by his boss, Colonel Vikorn,... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Paul P. Belle Isle
Burdett is back to form again in this novel dealing with murder, crime, passion, intrigue and soul searching in Thailand with sardonic detective Sonchai on the case, I found it an... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Robert L. Marion
An organ trafficking mystery. Uncomfortable subject to read about but an emphasis on the exotics of Thai culture and Buddahasism and good characters made the story readable, not... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Pi Meson
I can't get enough of Burdett's writing. The characters find themselves enmeshed in life or death outcomes leaving everything but chance as a possible outcome.Published 1 month ago by Travelin' Man
Compared to other stories I thought this was not so smooth, for me too many "side stories" that did not eventually come together so well. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Katerina Machovcova
Not one of his best, IMHO. Tedious at times. It almost seemed the author was trying to meet a word requirement by providing unnecessary detail. I struggled through to the end.Published 3 months ago by Disgruntled Customer
I've read all of the Sonchai Jitplejeep mysteries and they are so close to my heart (in this case, quite literally - Vulture Peak is about the body part black market). Read morePublished 3 months ago by S. Houk