PAYING BACK JACK by Christopher G. Moore


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Bangkok private eye Vincent Calvino’s enforced vacation only plunges him deeper into Thailand’s stew of violence.

Beware of what you wish for. Calvino’s imaginative tactics against delinquent tenant Apichart are so successful that his friend Colonel Pratt of the Royal Thai Police advises him to get out of town for a few days to escape Apichart’s fury. As Calvino (The Risk of Infidelity Index, 2007, etc.) savors the view from his balcony in a Pattaya hotel, it’s blocked by the figure of a woman falling from above to the ground 15 floors below. The local police naturally assume he’s the killer, especially after they find out that the victim, assistant manager of a Bangkok insurance firm whom he’d glimpsed only once before, had paid to have Calvino’s room upgraded to a suite directly below hers. No sooner does Colonel Pratt succeed in extricating Calvino than he’s roped into helping fight a sex-tourism operation that targets children. It looks as if he’ll never get back to his paying job: tailing factory owner Somporn, whose “minor wife,” a lady aptly named Meow, evidently has even more unsavory connections of her own. Once he bears down on the case, Calvino will find that his client, a private prison contractor bent on avenging a murdered son, is just as dangerous as the lowlifes he has in his sights.

Enough tangled plotlines for a miniseries. Moore clearly has no fear that his gloriously corrupt Bangkok will ever run dry.

Pub Date: Oct. 6th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8021-1902-5
Page count: 464pp
Publisher: Grove
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2009


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