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Garden of Hell (Father Ananda Mysteries) Paperback – 14 Dec 2006


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"A gripping read peppered with fascinating insights into the day to day life of a Buddhist monk, Nick Wilgus's Mindfulness and Murder puts a new spin on an old genre."--Untamed Travel Magazine

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The Garden of Hell - especially for some Nuns and Monks... 20 Sept. 2012
By Miki101.Michaela - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The monastery of Wat Yai is situated in a rural part of Sara Buri some hours north of Bangkok, the capital of Thailand.
It seems to be an ideal place to find peace and calmness of mind for meditation. But the good Abbot Uddi has enriched his Wat by the attractions of a pleasure park like Disneyland, only to expose in this his particular place of amusement the scenes of the 7 Hells of Buddhism, where earthly sinners have to take the punishments for their failures: The Garden of Hell.

The visitors arrive in whole busloads, all morbidly attracted of the gruelsome exhibits including naked mannequins and of the wild, dangerous animals to admire: living serpents not only free but also pending from trees, a tiger roaming wild and free, only held by an almost invisible chain. And the greatest attraction: The Crocodile compound where the mortal beasts are very well alive and are awaiting for food, the better when the prey is still living!

One morning the monks discover that a violence like this has become an horrible reality: Sister Moi has been torn apart by the crocodiles apperently while she was still alive!
The abbot and the local police are willing to declare this death a suicide, commited by a pregnant nun with no other way out.
But they didn't think of the Maha Thera Samakhom - the Buddhist Authorities - who are sending a very determinated investigator a bit 'one of a kind'.
He finds relationships with first class mafia bosses, very much connected with members of the government and the police, too. So the next step Father Ananda takes is to exactly find out the provenance and the destination of 'poor orphans' of both sexes, refugees from neighbour countries who always come and seek 'shelter' at the monastery and to be repatriated or entrusted to camps and afterwards go to institutions made for them...

So he and his disciple Jak can clearly see - after an other 'suicide' commited right by the natural brother of the dead nun - that in the 'Garden of Hell the things are way more horrible and unforseeable than they are already openly exhibited.
The road to go for our two heroes will be long and winding, there will be superior forces to fight, but at the end there will appear certain 'allies' who noone ever would have imagined helping Father Ananda ...

This book is the second in the series about Father Ananda written by Nick Wilgus, dedicated to an investigator in 'particular robes'
The first one Mindfulness and Murder: A Father Ananda Mystery has been translated in german Der Pfad des Mörders: Ein Thailand-Krimi, and a third one is available Killer Karma: A Father Ananda Mystery (Father Ananda Mysteries)

I have ordered that third book about Father Ananda, too, because the stories this author tells make us understand, that the whole umanity is equal in every way.
That monks and nuns, too, will never be totally free of the desires the extern world puts them in their way - like all the human beings.
And that they are not even immune to committing atrocious crimes, too.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Father Ananda Mystery #2 8 Jan. 2013
By Kathryn A. Morse - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Nick Wilgus presents us with another good read with the second Father Ananda mystery. The Garden of Hell takes us out of Bangkok to a rural monastery known for gory depictions of the place of punishment in the afterlife for those who pursue bad behavior in the present. And speaking of bad behavior, this short novel has two murders, an alleged rape, children in peril, the Thai Mafia, police on the take and more for Father Ananda to face. Father Ananda handles the danger well, but is fearful and less guarded emotionally when faced with an angry mother and when his young friend, Jak, is kidnapped.
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