The trade in illegal Cambodian antiquities is flourishing, though prospects for its fictionalization are more iffy.
Hong Kong journalist Ray Sharp (The Living Room of the Dead, 2005, etc.) has left his editorial job for a more frankly investigative post with Due Diligence International. His latest assignment—check out Golden Truly Million Artists Mansion Guangdong Ltd. for a potential purchaser—is routine, and so is his discovery that Golden Truly isn’t the cleanest operation. In the course of his inquiries, though, Ray runs up against not only a record number of lovelies who throw themselves at him to no avail (“What is it with me and women lately?” he wonders after sturdily rebuffing the latest of them), but Vietnamese-born General Tran, a naturalized Thai whose leading interests are sensualism and smuggling. When eagle-eyed Ray sees a brace of Khmer Rouge soldiers visiting the Sunthorns, a family of artisans with close ties to the General, his smiling host abruptly turns against him and Thanee, the retainer/courtesan he’s assigned to him, and Ray, doing his best John Wayne imitation, informs Tran that now it’s personal: Even though he had nothing against the General, he’s definitely going to ruin his operation, assuming of course that he survives long enough.
A Saturday-matinee adventure serial updated with drugs, grime, mid-life disillusionment and constant, albeit unfulfilled, promises of sex.