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Bangkok 8 by John Burdett
In Bangkok 8 by John Burdett, Sonchai Jitpleecheep and his partner are the only honest cops in Bangkok's police division 8, when an African-American U.S. Marine embassy guard and Sonchai's partner are murdered (by snakes of all things). Sonchai is a Buddhist arhat who refuses to accept bribes or be involved in other corruption, and he must also track down the murderers and avenge his partner's death. His mother wants to open a bordello for the Viagara-enabled geriatric tourist. His police superior is one of the most corrupt. The FBI contigent sent to help with the investigation is led by Kimberley Jones, who wants to be close with Sonchai, both on and off duty. Their investigation takes them through Bangkok's sex trade industry and involvement with illegal drugs and smuggled jade. Sonchai is the medium through whose eyes that modern Thailand is shown. John Burdett has gathered glowing reviews for Bangkok 8. The Rocky Mountains News calls it "a mystery that is more about culture than crime, more about sexuality than sex. This makes for a different kind of mystery, one you're not likely to have seen before."