The Queen of Patpong
by: Timothy Hallinan
Published by: William Morrow
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Reviewed by Patricia Reid
Life is good for Poke Rafferty, his wife Rose and their daughter Miaow. Miaow is rehearsing for a play at her school. Rose is busy with her house cleaning business and Poke is enjoying some success with his writing. The three are enjoying dinner in a local restaurant when Howard Horner, a former customer from Rose’s past, enters their lives and everything suddenly changes.
This is the family’s first run-in with Howard but it will not be the last. Pim is a young girl that Poke runs into when he is chasing John, Howard’s partner. Poke takes Pim home and Rose tries to explain to Pim the pitfalls of life as a dancer. Rose takes her family and Pim on a journey into her past that will keep readers on the edge of their seat. Poke knows what Rose did for a living before they married but he had no idea of the terrors that she lived through before they met. Through Rose’s story Poke finally understands the danger that Howard’s presence places his family in.
Poke’s friend Arthit is a police officer and is deeply depressed since his wife’s death but he agrees to help Poke track down Howard and bring him to justice. Poke is convinced that Rose is just one of many women Howard has been interested in over the years. Rose just happens to be “the one who got away” but a large number of women did not survive Howard’s attentions.
Whether you call the series “Poke Rafferty Thrillers” or “Bangkok Thrillers”, you are in for a marvelous read when you choose any of the four books. Each book stands alone but it is a thrill to read all four and see the characters as they develop and change.
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