Showing posts sorted by relevance for query the queen of patpong. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query the queen of patpong. Sort by date Show all posts

Jun 15, 2010

Book Review: The Queen of Patpong by Timothy Hallinan, a thriller

Teacher Suttikul snaps off the flashlight, and Kwan throws her arms around the woman. Hugging her teacher with all her strength, and with her own heart pounding in her ears, Kwan still hears Mr. Partison stop to wait for them, standing alone in the dark.
(ch. 8. This quote is from an uncorrected proof. The final version of the novel may differ. )


The Queen of Patpong: A Poke Rafferty Thriller
Author: Timothy Hallinan
About the quote: Kwan is a bright, young teenager from the poor northeastern province of Thailand who is promised a scholarship to college by her teacher. How does she land up as a dancer in the red light district of Patpong Road, becoming the Queen of Patpong?

Fast forward to Bangkok many years later and to the beginning of the novel.  Kwan has changed her name to Rose, is happily married to travel writer Poke Rafferty and is the mother of their adopted daughter, Miaow. Rose's settled and contented life is shattered by the re-appearance of  a threatening man with a military bearing, an American who promises to shatter her life.

Rose tells her story to Poke and Miaow, how she became the Queen of Patpong, and how she believed she had escaped her past, which has now come back to haunt and threaten her.

My comments: The story of the Queen of Patpong, from her life in the village to dancing in the bars of Bangkok, to her escape from the stranger who now has returned, is the riveting story that had my heart pounding and my eyes glued to the pages of the book. A literary novel and a thriller rolled into one. The Queen of Patpong: A Poke Rafferty Thriller has some of the most suspenseful scenes I've ever read in a thriller, and the sociological aspects of the story are heartrending. Hallihan has excellent descriptive power and knows his subjects and their environment well. I gave this novel five stars.

Thanks to the author for providing a galley proof of this book.

Publisher: William Morrow (August 17, 2010)
Hardcover: 304 pages
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061672262
ISBN-13: 978-0061672262

Review linked to Book Review Party Wednesday. Challenge: 100 + Reading Challenge,Thriller and Suspense Reading Challenge. (Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme that invites you to choose two sentences from your current read to illustrate the book.)

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Jun 13, 2010

Sunday Salon: On the Road Again

The Sunday Salon.com
Welcome to the Sunday Salon!

On the road to Toronto on Friday, we tried to listen to the audio version of  The Man from Saigon: A Novel by Marti Leimbach, but there was so much more description than action that my better half decided he didn't want to listen to it. He is after all a Dick Francis and Clive Cussler fan and likes a fast pace and lots of dialogue. I will have to read the hardcover book in a quiet place sometime soon.

We watched the first game of the World Cup in a restaurant, over dim sum and oolong tea, amid the enthusiastic shouts of other diners. Nigeria beat Greece. Later that day, the U.S. was in a tie with Britain. At night on YouTube, we watched Shakira doing Waki Waki (and Waikiki in her hula skirt cum grass skirt) in the opening ceremonies of the games in South Africa, and the Black Eyed Peas belting it out on stage.

I loved opening my comments box over the weekend to see enthusiastic comments  to my bit of writing on Magpie Tales: Magma Points, a poem written in reponse to a visual prompt from Willow. There were more entries to my Book Give-Away: Whiter Than Snow by Sandra Dallas, which runs through June 23.

I finished reading Tim Hallinan's The Queen of Patpong: A Poke Rafferty Thriller, and gave it 5 stars on Goodreads. I have to write a full review this week! My comments on Goodreads:

"A literary novel and a thriller rolled into one. Fabulous! was the word that came to mind when I finished The Queen of Patpong. It has some of the most suspenseful scenes I've ever read in a thriller, and the sociological aspects of the story are heartrending. Hallihan has excellent descriptive power and knows his subjects and their environment well."

To see another 5-star review of the book, visit Goodreads.

On the way home, I have another audio book to try. Hopefully, this will hit the spot as we head through rain home.

What did you do last week?

Jul 10, 2009

Books Reviewed, 2010 and 2009

For those who love reading book reviews, here are links to reviews I've done so far.

2010 :

1. A Map of Paradise: A Novel of 19th C Hawaii by Linda Ching Sledge
2. Truly, Madly by Heather Webber, a cozy mystery
3. The Tricking of Freya: A Novel, by Christina Sunley
4. The Last Surgeon by Michael Palmer, a thriller
5. The Youngest Son: Memoirs from the Homeland by Oreste LeRoy Salerni
6. The Cuban Chronicles by Wanda St. Hilaire, travel memoir
7. Knit, Purl, Die by Anne Canadeo, mystery
8. Simply Quince by Barbara Gazarian, a cookbook

9. Denise's Daily Dozen: The Easy, Every Day Program to Lose Up to 12 Pounds in 2 Weeks by Denise Austin, exercise and diet
10. Dino Vicelli, Private Eye by Lori Weiner, crime fiction
11. The Trudeau Vector: A Novel by Juris Jurjevics, thriller
12. One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, fiction
13. Paying Back Jack: A Vincent Calvino Novel by Christopher G. Moore, detective series
14. Thirsty: A Novel by Kristin Bair O'Keefe, fiction.
15. I Ching: New Interpretation for Modern Times

16. The Pig and I by Rachel Toor, fiction
17. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, fiction
18. The Risk of Infidelity Index: A Vincent Calvino Crime Novel by Christopher G. Moore
19. Far From the Land: An Irish Memoir by Thomas J. Rice
20. Truth, Next Exit by Michele M. Paiva, self help
21. The Brick Layer by Noah Boyd, crime fiction

22. WOW: A Handbook for Living by Zen Ohashi and Zono Kurazono, self-help
23. The Writing on My Forehead by Nafisa Haji, women's fiction
24. The Godfather of Katmandu by John Burdett, detective fiction
25. Love in Mid Air by Kim Wright, contemporary fiction
26. At Home with Laurie Ann: A Decorator's Guide , interior decorating
27. The Old Capital by Yasunari Kawabata, literary fiction
28. Feeling the Vibe by Candace Dow, fiction
29. A Dead Hand: A Crime in Calcutta by Paul Theroux, crime fiction

30. Songs of the Humpback Whale by Jodi Picoult, women's fiction
31. Murder in the Palais Royale by Cara Black, mystery
32. Skin and Bones by D.C. Corso, crime fiction
33. Perfection: A Memoir by Julie Metz, memoir
34. Pearl of China: A Novel by Anchee Min, fiction
35. Arabesk by Barbara Nadel, a Turkish mystery
36. Nanny's Theory of Style by Grace Coopersmith, romantic comedy

37. Snakes Can't Run by Ed Lin, thriller
38. The Killing of Mindi Quintana by Jeffrey Cohen, legal thriller
39. Making a Case for Life by Stephanie Wincik, non-fiction
40. Flirting with Forever by Gwyn Cready, time-travel romantic comedy
41. In the Shadow of the Cypress by Thomas Steinbeck, historical novel
42. Clean, Green, and Lean by Walter Crinnion, self-help, cookbook
43. Sahara by Clive Cussler, adventure thriller

44. Seducing Mr. Darcy by Gwy Cready, romantic comedy
45. The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova, fiction
46. Assassins of Athens by Jeffrey Siger, mystery
47. The Mountain Place of Knowledge by Marshall Chamberlain, adventure thriller
48.The Queen of Patpong by Timothy Hallinan, thriller
49.The Time of the Dragons by Alice Ekert-Rotholz, an historical novel

50. Kitchen Chinese by Ann Mah, fiction
51. Petals from the Sky by Mingmei Yip, fiction
52. Blood Hina by Naomi Hirahara, mystery series
53. A Twist of Orchids by Michelle Wan, mystery series
54. Half Life by Roopa Farooki, women's fiction
55. The Blind Contessa's New Machine by Carey Wallace, historical fiction
56. The Stone Monkey by Jeffrey Deaver, thriller
57. The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk, fiction

Defending the Enemy by Elaine B. Fischel, non-fiction
Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh, Indian fiction*
Busy Body by M.C. Beaton, a cozy mystery*
The Tapestry of Love by Rosy Thornton, women's fiction, romance*
A King of Infinite Space by Tyler Dilts, crime fiction
The End of Marking Time by C.J. West, dystopia

Every Bitter Thing by Leighton Gage, detective fiction*
The Insane Train by Sheldon Russel, crime fiction
The Love Goddess' Cooking School by Melissa Senate, women's fiction, romance
The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley, mystery*
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley, mystery*

Extinction by Dan Ailey, sci-fi
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, thriller**
A Dog Named Slugger by Leigh Brill, non-fiction
Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh, self-help
A Darker God by Barbara Cleverly, Greek island mystery*
There's No Hope for Gomez by Graham Parke, comedy

==================

2009
The Housekeeper and the Professor

Man Overboard: A Johnny Donohue Adventure

Killer Summer

Songs of Blue and Gold

The Devlin Diary

Andean Express

Illegal

The Cluttered Corpse

Purple Hibiscus

Borderline: A Novel

Palos Verdes Blue


April - May:

Killer Cruise

Queen's Cross

The Fortune Cookie Chronicles

The Shadow of the Wind

Kiss Murder

The Trail of the Wild Rose

Bon Appetit

Fault Line

The Winner Stands Alone

Bitter Sugar

Spiced: A Pastry Chef's True Stories

Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven

Tokyo Fiancee

Fidali's Way

The Map Thief

A Gift from Brittany


Jan. - March:

The Fire Kimono

The Piano Teacher

Murder in the Latin Quarter

French Pressed

Tomb of Zeus

Dirty Little Angels

Greek Winds of Fury

The Anteater of Death

Twenty Fragments of a Ravenous Youth in Beijing

Lulu in Marrakech

Death Walked In

The Peking Man Is Missing

A Pale Horse

New Slain Knight

Dec 31, 2010

2010 Book Reviews: Wrap Up


Everyone's doing a book wrap up for the year, so here's goes. I reviewed 70 books but must have read over 100!

This year I started to read romances and more general women's fiction, adding these to the mysteries I normally read. I also reviewed self-help books and a cookbook or two. A good mix of genres for 2010! I have starred * the ones I really, really like, though I liked them all!

Books Reviewed:
                                
Defending the Enemy by Elaine B. Fischel, non-fiction
Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh, Indian fiction*
Busy Body by M.C. Beaton, a cozy mystery*
The Tapestry of Love by Rosy Thornton, women's fiction, romance*
A King of Infinite Space by Tyler Dilts, crime fiction
The End of Marking Time by C.J. West, dystopia
Every Bitter Thing by Leighton Gage, detective fiction*
The Insane Train by Sheldon Russel, crime fiction
The Love Goddess' Cooking School by Melissa Senate, women's fiction, romance
The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley, mystery*
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley, mystery*


Extinction by Dan Ailey, sci-fi
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, thriller**
A Dog Named Slugger by Leigh Brill, non-fiction
Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh, self-help
A Darker God by Barbara Cleverly, Greek island mystery*
There's No Hope for Gomez by Graham Parke, comedy
The Season of Second Chances by Diane Meier, romance
The Blind Contessa's New Machine by Carey Wallace, historical fiction**
Half Life by Roopa Farooki, women's fiction
A Twist of Orchids by Michelle Wan, mystery**

Blood Hina by Naomi Hirahara, mystery
Petals from the Sky by Mingmei Yip, women's fiction
The Queen of Patpong by Timothy Hallinan, thriller
The Time of the Dragons by Alice Ekert-Rotholz, an historical novel
Kitchen Chinese by Ann Mah, fiction
Assassins of Athens by Jeffrey Siger, mystery
The Mountain Place of Knowledge by Marshall Chamberlain, adventure thriller
Making a Case for Life by Stephanie Wincik, non-fiction, health
Seducing Mr. Darcy by Gwy Cready, romantic comedy
The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova, fiction

Clean, Green, and Lean by Walter Crinnion, self-help, cookbook
Sahara by Clive Cussler, adventure thriller
In the Shadow of the Cypress by Thomas Steinbeck, historical novel
Flirting with Forever by Gwyn Cready, time-travel romantic comedy
Snakes Can't Run by Ed Lin, thriller
The Killing of Mindi Quintana by Jeffrey Cohen, legal thriller
Arabesk by Barbara Nadel, a Turkish mystery
Nanny's Theory of Style by Grace Coopersmith, romantic comedy
Perfection: A Memoir by Julie Metz, memoir
Pearl of China: A Novel by Anchee Min, fiction

Skin and Bones by D.C. Corso, crime fiction
The Stone Monkey by Jeffrey Deaver, thriller
Murder in the Palais Royale by Cara Black, mystery
Songs of the Humpback Whale by Jodi Picoult, women's fiction
A Dead Hand: A Crime in Calcutta by Paul Theroux, crime fiction
The Old Capital by Yasunari Kawabata, literary fiction
Feeling the Vibe by Candace Dow, fiction
Love in Mid Air by Kim Wright, contemporary fiction
At Home with Laurie Ann: A Decorator's Guide , interior decorating
The Godfather of Katmandu by John Burdett, detective fiction

 WOW: A Handbook for Living by Zen Ohashi and Zono Kurazono, self-help
The Writing on My Forehead by Nafisa Haji, women's fiction
The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk, fiction
The Brick Layer by Noah Boyd, crime fiction
 Far From the Land: An Irish Memoir by Thomas J. Rice
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, fiction
The Risk of Infidelity Index: A Vincent Calvino Crime Novel by Christopher G. Moore
Paying Back Jack: A Vincent Calvino Novel by Christopher G. Moore, detective series
Thirsty: A Novel by Kristin Bair O'Keefe, fiction.
I Ching: New Interpretation for Modern Times

Dino Vicelli, Private Eye by Lori Weiner, crime fiction
The Trudeau Vector: A Novel by Juris Jurjevics, thriller
One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, fiction
Knit, Purl, Die by Anne Canadeo, mystery
Simply Quince by Barbara Gazarian, a cookbook
Denise's Daily Dozen: The Easy, Every Day Program to Lose Up to 12 Pounds in 2 Weeks by Denise Austin, exercise and diet
The Cuban Chronicles by Wanda St. Hilaire, travel memoir
The Tricking of Freya: A Novel, by Christina Sunley
The Last Surgeon by Michael Palmer, a thriller
A Map of Paradise: A Novel of 19th C Hawaii by Linda Ching Sledge

What does your list look like this year?

Jun 20, 2010

Sunday Salon: A Book and a Half

The Sunday Salon.com


Welcome to the Sunday Salon!

Whiter Than SnowThree more days to enter the contest for Whiter than Snow by Sandra Dallas, thanks to the Book Report Network.
Here's the link: Book Give-Away

I managed only a book and a half last week. It's been hectic.
I reviewed the galley of The Queen of Patpong: A Poke Rafferty Thriller by Timothy Hallinan, a first-rate suspense novel set in Bangkok that will be out in August. Here's the review.

I'm half-way through The Time Of The Dragons by Alice Ekert Rotholz, translated from the German, set in Asia before and during the Japanese occupation of Shanghai and the countries of Southeast Asia. I had mentioned in an earlier post that I  wanted to see a German perspective of the war in Asia. Here's what I wrote on the post of a blogger who reviewed the book:

"I'm half way through the book, printed in 1958 by Viking Press. Really interesting novel about a Norwegian consul in Shanghai in the mid-1920s and his daughters who go back and forth to China before the Japanese occupation of Shanghai. Interesting also that the author warns about watching Asians in the future, especially "Japanese, Chinese, and Indians" and their future influence in the world. (This was written in 1958) . Her book goes into the Japanese part of WWII, but Germany is mentioned only briefly. She says nothing at all about the German quest for world power during the same war. Interesting omission, since this was written only 13 or so years after WWII, and by a German author who would have had fresh memories of the war in Europe."

China to MeI love old books and old historical fiction and what we can learn from them.

I became interested in the WWII period of Asian history from reading a partial autobiography, China to Me by Emily Hahn, published in 1944.  Hahn was an American journalist and a prolific writer who spent the years before and during the Japanese occupation in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Chungking and experienced the war there first hand. Hers I find a fascinating journalist's view of people and events there. So much so that I am hooked on books written on this period in Chinese history.

Well, back to finishing that interesting German author's novel on WWII in Asia, for which I have a hot and cold reaction! I will have more time in August to read and review as I have decided to ease back into retirement. Missed the blogging :)

What did you do last week?

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May 16, 2010

Sunday Salon: Relaxing Sunday

The Sunday Salon.com

Welcome to the Sunday Salon!
In the Shadow of the CypressMy current read? In the Shadow of the Cypress by Thomas Steinbeck, who I think is John Steinbeck's son.

Making a Case for Life: A New Definition of PerfectionReceived in the mail, Making a Case for Life: A New Definition of Perfection by Stephanie Wincik, a book on disabled children and the vital role they play in families and society.

A book tour post will be up tomorrow for  The Killing of Mindi Quintana by Jeffrey Cohen and I will be doing a review later on of  the time-travel romance, Flirting with Forever by Gwyn Cready.

I'm also reading an ARC of the latest thriller set in hot Bangkok, The Queen of Patpong: A Poke Rafferty Thriller by Tim Hallinan, a Sept. 1, 2010 release.

I reviewed two books, in spite of a hectic work week:  Nancy's Theory of Style, a romatic comedy by Grace Coopersmith, plus the detective thriller, Snakes Can't Run by Ed Lin.  I also had a Guest post by Grace Coopersmith aka Marta Acosta, who also writes the Casa Dracula series.

Have you heard of the new eReader that's coming on the market, the Kobo eReader?  Suzanne of Chick with Books has a post all about it. It's to be distributed by Borders and costs only $150! This may be the one for me!

What did you read last week?

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May 7, 2011

Book Review: The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton, Edgar Award Winner

Steve Hamilton'sThe Lock Artist: A Novel [Hardcover](2010)
Steve Hamilton's The Lock Artist: A Novel [Hardcover](2010) won this year's Edgar Award for Best Novel. I scanned it in about two hours or so and felt I got the gist of the book, which I would rate about a 4 out of 5 stars. The lock artist is a young man who has decided not to speak though he is not physically mute. His talents for unlocking safes and any kind of lock makes him a target for professional thieves, who take advantage of him and reward him with very little if any of the takings.

The book shows his history through flashbacks in the storytelling and gradually reveals the reason he is now in jail at the start of the book. However, not all is lost for this young man. There is a twist to the plot and at the end, there is hope for a better life and even for love.

The characterization is excellent. You become involved in the life of this mute and seemingly helpless but talented "lock artist," as the story is told in the first person, from his point of view.

I can understand why the book won the Edgar. After all, the author has won before and was certainly a safe bet. However, there is another Edgar nominee that I rated a full 5 stars - The Queen of Patpong: A Poke Rafferty Thriller by Timothy Hallinan. This book is not only socially conscious, even more so than The Lock Artist, but it's also an excellent thriller with a lot going for it on several levels.

I recommend you read them both!

Jun 18, 2010

Friday Finds: Food and Mysteries

Found these the other day but as they deserve their own post, they are listed under Friday Finds, a meme hosted by Should Be Reading. Here's what I found while browsing at the library.

Kitchen Chinese: A Novel About Food, Family, and Finding Yourself
by Ann Mah (2010). Mah was born in California, worked in Beijing as dining editor for a magazine for four years, won a James Beard Culinary Scholarship, and now lives in Paris. Lucky lady!

Blood Hina: A Mas Arai Mystery by Naomi Hirahara (2010). Hirahara is an Edgar Award-winner. She lives in southern California. In this mystery novel, her character Mas Arai must clear his friend's name after the friend's fiancee goes missing.


Paper Butterfly: A Mei Wang Mystery by Diane Wei Liang (2009). The author is a graduate of Peking University and lives in London. Mei Wang is a successful private investigator in Beijing and appeared in the first mystery, The Eye of Jade.

Also couldn't resist the books of two of my favorite mystery/thriller authors:

A Nail Through the Heart: A Novel of Bangkok by Timothy Hallinan (2008). This books features travel writer Poke Rafferty and his adventures in Bangkok. One of the follow up novels is The Queen of Patpong: A Poke Rafferty Thriller, to be released in August.

A Darker God: A Laetitia Talbot Mystery (Mortalis) by Barbara Cleverly (2010). Cleverly writes historical and archaeological mysteries in unusual settings. Her titles include The Last Kashmiri Rose, The Damascened Blade, and The Tomb of Zeus. She lives in Cambridge, England.

Sunday Salon: Japanese Authors and a Mystery

  Klara and the Sun   by Kazuo Ishiguro.  Klara and the Sun was easy to read for a literary novel of such magnitude and celebrity, I found...