Private eye and former war reporter, Maier is sent to Cambodia to track down the missing heir to a Hamburg coffee empire. His search leads him into the darkest corners of the country's history, through the Killing Fields of the communist revolution, to the White Spider, a Nazi war criminal who reigns over an ancient Khmer temple deep in the jungle. But the terrifying tale of mass murder that Maier uncovers is far from over. And soon Maier realises that, if he is to prevent more innocent lives from being destroyed, he will have to write the last horrific chapter himself. The Cambodian Book of the Dead - it's where Apocalypse Now meets The Beach -
Tom Vater is a writer working in South and South East Asia. He writes both in English and German. His articles have been published around the world. He is the author of several books and has co-written a number of documentary screenplays for European television. His books on South Asian themes include two novels, several non-fiction titles, travel guides and photo books, including the acclaimed Sacred Skin. TIME Magazine described his recent work as 'exuberant writing'.
Tom first visited Asia in 1993. His first destination, India, proved to be a life-changing experience. At the time, Tom was documenting the music of India's indigenous minorities for the British Library's International Music Collection. This project continues and has resulted in the collection of hundreds of hours of musical traditions, many of which are slowly fading away in the face of globalization. Because of the unique contact Tom had with many indigenous communities, he began to write about minorities in South Asia.
His first publication (barring a virtually forgotten past as editor of student magazines and music critic for a German daily) was a full page spread on Nepali folk music in Nepal's biggest English language paper in 1997. Since then, he has never looked back.
Tom's work has appeared in a wide variety of publications - from well-known dailies to specialist magazines - including The Asia Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, Marie Claire and Penthouse.
Tom often works with Thai photographer Aroon Thaewchatturat, whose images have appeared in GEO, Time Magazine, The Wall Street Journal and many other publications. For a look at Aroon's images, visit her website www.aroonthaew.com.
Tom is the co-founder of Crime Wave Press (www.crimewavepress.com), a Hong Kong based fiction imprint that endeavors to publish the best new crime novels from Asia and about Asia to readers around the globe.
Much of the year, Tom is on the road, researching stories, fulfilling assignments. His travels have led him (on foot) across the Himalayas, given him the opportunity to dive with hundreds of sharks in the Philippines and left him stranded in dozens of train stations, airports and bus terminals around South Asia, Europe and the US. On his journeys, he has joined sea gypsies and nomads, pilgrims and soldiers, secret agents, pirates, hippies, police men and prophets. Everyone put up with him longer than he deserved.
You can also follow Tom on his Facebook page, his Goodreads page or his crime fiction blog http://thedevilsroad.com as well as on his flickr page.