A veteran Bangkok shamus, born and bred in New York, makes his American debut.
Not many private eyes have offices upstairs from a massage parlor, and the apparent suicide of Jazz, a female employee of the parlor, One Hand Clapping, does nothing to improve the neighborhood. But Vincent Calvino, the PI upstairs, has graver problems. Andrew Danielson, the attorney who’d promised him $10,000 to dig up evidence of pharmaceutical piracy, dies hours after Jazz, who turns out to be his lover. And since Danielson’s arrangement with Calvino was off the books, his law firm refuses to honor his contract. So Calvino, stuck for a way to make enough money to pay off his debts and maybe even bring a bit more stability to his surroundings by purchasing the massage parlor, follows the advice of his friend McPhail, who’s met three expatriate wives in an Italian cooking class. Since Bangkok, according to a text called The Risk of Infidelity Index, is the most likely spot in the world for men to cheat on their wives, Calvino will offer his professional services to the women, each of them all but certain her husband has a bit on the side. Though Moore devotes little attention to the expats and their domestic difficulties, he takes the time to link their paranoia to a web of corruption and murder.
Tough, wisecracking Calvino is nothing special, but the darkly raffish Bangkok milieu is a treat.