Once more Vincent Calvino, Bangkok’s most newsworthy private eye, forgoes paying clients to avenge a dead acquaintance and incidentally protect himself and his family.
After some bumpy times, freelance cameraman Jerry Hutton finally seemed to have it made. With soundman Roland May, he’d recorded footage of a Burmese Army division flagrantly violating the Geneva Convention. When the resulting publicity allowed him to option the story of his life and won him a job doing second-unit work on American director Jesse Tyler’s movie Lucky Charms, he’d been so ebullient that he’d splurged to buy his rental wife Kwang a German Shepherd to breed. That was all before he was thrown into jail and, soon after his release, thrown into Lumpini Park Lake and drowned. Did the 22nd Burmese Division somehow get back at him? The murder of Roland, which follows apace, makes it sound that way. But his friend Col. Pratt of the Bangkok police helps Calvino, who’s less interested in the subject of Hutton’s movie than in the process of filmmaking, see something odd about the footage that put Hutton on the hot seat. And Calvino sees something even strangerf about Lucky Charms, starting with its cast. For the film’s leading lady Carol Hatcher, the daughter of a U.S. Army Intelligence officer, is joined by Calvino’s lover Kiko and his visiting daughter Melody, 13, who lands an unsought role hours after her plane touches down.
Less original and densely packed than Calvino’s earlier cases (Paying Back Jack, 2009, etc.), but just as dankly atmospheric.