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Water Heart [Kindle Edition]

Erich R. Sysak
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99
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  • Length: 187 pages (estimated)
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Book Description

An American political science professor is found dead in a local catfish pond and most in the expat community suspect suicide. Then one of her graduate students disappears and Bonner sees the connection.

But it’s the last thing he wants to get involved with. He’d rather open a little coffee shop on campus and enjoy the best SE Asia has to offer. But when an old friend reappears and needs help, Bonner is compelled to change.

He’s forced on a mission up the Mekong River to Laos where he will take on a surprisingly American cargo, two soldiers AWOL from Iraq who followed the old hippie trail as an escape. The Mekong River where they travel holds the secret to a tragic love affair, an old friendship, and a changing Far East.

Product Details

  • File Size: 327 KB
  • Print Length: 187 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003T0FXPK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,134,429 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The beach resort town of Hua Hin is a popular place, both for wealthy Thai and for international tourists. It also has its own community of expatriate academics at Jackley International University. Alas, Jackley is no longer the attractive seat of learning it once was, and Mike Bonner dreams of life outside teaching at the University. Perhaps he could move to a village, and meet more Thai. Perhaps he could open a bookshop or a café.

`Coming to Thailand wasn't always for sex tourism or to find a wife, but to end something, a place where you went and never came back.'

Mike's opportunity arises when Jadeeda seeks his help to find her fiancé Brian Palmer. Their investigation is a story of itself: through intrigue, misfortune and some interesting surprises. There are some interesting characters in this novel - including some of those stereotypical expatriates that feature in almost every story of European experience in Asia.

I found Mike Bonner's experiences during the search for Brian Palmer interesting, but what I enjoyed more was the descriptions of Thailand and the restless energy of the people and the Mekong River. The diversity of Thailand, the cultural contrasts and frictions were for me as much a part of the story as Mike Bonner's journey and aspirations.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
With Water Heart, Erich Sysak enters the front ranks of expat novelists writing about Thailand. It's not just that he captures the areas of Hua Hin and Cha'am (he does), or the comedy of errors that is Jackley U (I taught there; he went easy on the place), or the lure of the bar girls and the easy virtue alongside the ubiquity of the Buddha and his devotees; it's that he puts it all together better than all the rest of the pack. The novel has pace, surprise, language, and vision. Some reviewers mention that the book makes them want to return to Thailand; it makes me feel like I never left. Give it a go--you won't be disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very intriguing story from Thailand April 11, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
NOTE: This review was originally published on "Red Adept Reviews" on March 15, 2011.

Overall: 4 1/2 stars

Plot/Storyline: 5 stars

The story was intriguing, and there was a ton of fascinating information about Thailand and what attracted westerners to the country (besides the sex tours!). Professor Mike Bonner had been at Jackley International University for four years. When Jadeeda, a beautiful graduate assistant, asked Bonner to help find her fiancé Brian Palmer, who has mysteriously disappeared, Bonner went into the Bangkok underworld in search of him. When he returned to the campus with some information, he learned that his department head, Dr. Marsha Shapiro, had been found dead. It appeared to be a suicide, but was it a coincidence that Palmer and Shapiro had had a violent argument just before Palmer disappeared? Bonner and his longtime friend and mentor Ralph Warrington were then forced to take a trip up the Mekong River into Laos, where they learned the truth.

The book was a veritable travelogue about Thailand and its people, and there were times that I found myself daydreaming about taking my pension and moving there. Then I remembered how many times the author mentioned the oppressive heat and humidity, and that ended the dreaming!

"Water Heart" is a fine mystery story about some colorful characters who might have been considered misfits in their home countries, but in Thailand they fit in perfectly. It was a very readable story, and the ending tied all the loose ends together in a very satisfying way.

Characters: 4 1/2 stars

The principal character was Mike Bonner, an expat American who landed a teaching job at a small rundown university in the suburbs of Bangkok.
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