This is the first of the author's books I've read, and it won't be the last. As they say, the book 'gets under the skin' of Thailand, and anyone who's been to Bangkok will recognise how superbly John Burdett has captured the spirit, the very essence, of the city.
More than a straightforward detective novel, Bangkok 8 gives us a deep insight into the spiritual side of Thailand and its people. The complications of adding Buddhism to mass tourism (some of it highly questionable in motive) is handled expertly, and anyone interested in Thailand would learn more about the country and its people from reading this book than from studying several editions of the 'Lonely Planet' guide.
A truly un-put-downable novel, fascinating and multi-layered, this is one of the two best novels I've read in the past few years. Perhaps the best - it narrowly beats 'God is a Bullet'.