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Bangkok Burn Paperback – January 5, 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 132 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Bangkok Series

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: I & I Press (January 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 6163055020
  • ISBN-13: 978-6163055026
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,409,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
A red-hot thriller set against the exotic backdrop of Bangkok, this is a blistering read from start to finish. The hero, or maybe anti-hero, is Chance, a farang (foreigner) and an orphan who was raised by a Bangkok mafia family. Though he wants out of a life of crime to keep the love of his life, Pim, that proves difficult when he is variously double-crossed, blown up, shot at and dropped off cliffs.

Meanwhile, a war is taking place in the streets of Bangkok as political cliques fire bullets and rockets at each other. The real culture and current affairs of the country are every bit as vital to this novel as the characters, and as vibrant and challenging as the plot.

Written by a man who clearly has an intimate knowledge of Bangkok, from its elite down to its underbelly, you will wonder how much of Chance's story is true. You'll also sweat every heart-stopping moment with him, every heart-breaking revelation, every shock and wound incurred by his attempts to save his family and discover the astonishing truth.
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I bought this book because I was intrigued by the setting, having myself lived overseas for years. I loved the descriptions of Bangkok and Thailand in general, and I was intrigued by the plot. The story is good, and the characters are pretty well fleshed out. I thought the writing was very good in places and lacking in others. The Kindle version I read had several places where sentence structure was spotty, as if the book had been written in a hurry and not edited as carefully as it should. This pulled me out of the story in a few places, but wasn't so distracting as to make me put it down. I continued reading because it was fast paced and I wanted to know what happened. I did have one moment of total disconnect with the main character, but I enjoyed the story and would read another from this author.
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One of the best books I have read in quite a long time.
Bangkok burn is a contemporary thriller set in a very exotic location. I liked the complex plot, the fast pace of the book and all those interesting facts about Bangkok [under]life. I very much liked the fact that you can't predict what is going to happen next. The very likable main villain Chance uses Twitter, throw-away mobile phones, logs from mobile towers and other modern technology, together with old-fashioned guns -*lots* of 'em - or even much older "technology" - crocodile pit #51. The story takes place during recent riots in Bangkok.
The author lives in Bangkok and obviously knows this town and country very well.
The book is plain mobi (.azw file), well formatted, not infested in DRM and the number of devices is not limited.
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I didn't finish this book. The writing is so poor, I didn't continue. Here is an example:

"I'd hooked up the back-up to a USB port and was trying passwords. Uncle Mike always used Rolling Stone's songs. It was the only way his Acid scarred mind could remember them; the passwords, not the 'Stones, he remembered all of their songs. Written as one word with prime numbers in between the words, it wasn't foolproof but I hadn't gotten in yet."

I can overlook some grammatical and punctuation errors, but there are so many that they affect the meaning. If I have to re-read a sentence for it to make sense, that's when it's crossed the line from a few errors to poor writing.

In addition, the main character is supposed to be 41 but sounds more like 18. The character development for the supporting characters is almost non-existent.

I expect the usual comments that I can't fairly evaluate a book without reading the whole thing. If I were being paid to edit this book, yes, I'd read it all. However, I shouldn't have to do extensive editing and proofing in my mind just to understand what the author is trying to say for a book that's already been published.

I do think Royale has potential. He does get in some good imagery such as this bit that talks about the different political factions in Bangkok: "CNN had the colors down to poor underdog red versus rich elite yellow. Not getting that there are more colors here than a Dulux paint catalog, with a flip side of shades of gray."

With a lot more work on his grammar and usage and a very good editor and proofreader, Royale may become a good writer. Right now, unfortunately, this book was published long before it was ready.
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Dying was the easy part is right. This chilling, high-octane thriller takes you to parts of Bangkok no tourist should ever go, a world where life is cheap and morality non-existent.

Hungry crocodiles, fast action, and strong characterizations make for a riveting read. The main character, Chance, is an enigma: family-orientated, loyal and loving... and a cold-blooded killer. I'd certainly want him on my side.

If you like lean, mean thrillers in exotic settings, you can't go past Bangkok Burn - A Thriller.
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Note: This review was originally published at Red Adept Reviews on February 10, 2012.

Overall: 5 stars

Plot/Storyline: 5 stars

A few months ago, I reviewed a novel that was set in Thailand. The Thailand in that story was a peaceful, idyllic place that actually caused me to daydream about taking my pension and moving there. It's a far different Thailand that's depicted in Bangkok Burn, however. This was a Thailand in the midst of political and social upheaval, used as a backdrop for the story of a Thai mafia family and their struggles to survive. Think of it as The Godfather, Thai-style, and you've got the idea.

The story opened with a bang--literally--as Por, a mafia leader, and Chance, his adopted western son, were nearly killed by a bomb. At almost the same time, Uncle Mike, another member of the family, was kidnapped. Were the two incidents related? With Por seriously injured, Chance had to step up and find answers quickly.

There were plenty of suspects, since Por's family was constantly having to defend their turf against other Thai mafia families as well as foreigners like the Japanese Yakuza.

The novel was an exciting, suspenseful murder mystery, focusing on Chance's desperate investigations to learn who was behind the bombing and the kidnapping. Chance could be cunning when he needed to be, but he also knew how persuasive a large-caliber weapon aimed at a suspect could be in loosening tongues. Also, the family ran a unique "disposal" service for those needing to make someone disappear without a trace, and the mere threat of this was all it took to persuade some people to sing like a bird.
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