Tuesday, December 30, 2008

January Magazine: best crime fiction, 2008, part I

One title from January Magazine's list of the best crime fiction of 2008, part I:
The Fourth Watcher by Timothy Hallinan (Morrow) 320 pages

I thought that John Burdett’s terrific books (Bangkok 8, Bangkok Tattoo, Bangkok Haunts) about Royal Thai police detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep, the only practicing Buddhist on the Bangkok police force, contained all I needed to know about the darker, sadder side of that popular tourist stop. But then I began to read Timothy Hallinan’s novels about American travel writer Poke Rafferty, starting with A Nail Through the Heart (2007), a moving thriller full of violence, depravity and love. Hallinan’s latest, The Fourth Watcher, is even better: the kind of book that makes you wonder, What more can he possibly do? This time, he mixes into the tale Poke’s long-missing father, Frank, and a half-sister he never knew he had; a Secret Service agent who could be the worst nightmare anyone ever had; a few honest and many more crooked Thai cops; and Colonel Chu, the head of a Chinese triad, who grabs Rafferty’s beautiful love interest, Rose, and their street-smart 9-year-old adopted daughter. Chu says he’ll kill them both unless he gets back what Frank Rafferty stole from him: a whole lot of rubies and the papers to launch a new life for himself in America. Poke believes him, and so will you. -- Dick Adler
Read about another title to make the list.

The Page 69 Test: The Fourth Watcher.

My Book, The Movie: The Fourth Watcher.

--Marshal Zeringue