Had me gripped from the first paragraph. Gin-sodden, alienated aid worker, Graham, is caught up in an investigation into a series of sex murders and manipulated by shadowy forces so he can't tell who, if anyone, he can trust. He's far from your traditional square-jawed hero, but as the odds against his survival mount, your sympathy for this flawed narrator grows: by the time he faces interrogation by a malevolent but exquisitely polite stranger in his own soulless living room I was shaking with terror along with him.
What's more, Brayne lives up to his name: he feeds the brain as well as jangling the nerves. Too many thrillers set in developing countries use the location just as an exotic backdrop, and convince you only that the author's flown in for some brief tax-deductible research. Alan Brayne has apparently lived in Indonesia for years, and it shows. I've never been there, but I could smell the poverty, feel the heat, squirm at the behaviour of drunk sex tourists and the self-satisfied superiority of even well-meaning westerners - and sympathise with the Indonesians who do what they must to earn some sort of living. He shows you how corruption rots everything it touches, so you can begin to understand how impossible it must be to keep your hands clean.
I'm not sure that I ever unravelled what was going on - I guess you're probably not supposed to - but found it an immensely satisfying read. If you like Graham Greene, Timothy Mo or even Alex Garland you'll love this. And if you're heading for Bali's beaches, this'll give you a better glimpse under the surface of life in Indonesia than any guidebook.