8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Burdett goes where others fear to tread,
This review is from: Vulture Peak (Sonchai Jitpleecheep) (Hardcover)
"Vulture Peak" continues the wild adventures of Bangkok Police Detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep. This series is not only somewhat exotic in its Thailand setting, it also includes some of the most offbeat, endearing, off-putting, interesting, repulsive and spiritual characters created for the mystery genre (or maybe any literary genre of any kind). For whatever reason author John Burdett has chosen this direction, it probably (as far as I know) puts his books in a category unique unto themselves. For this reader, this spectrum of extremes works well and I found "Vulture Peak" and its predecessors highly entertaining, if a little shocking in their occasional cold-eyed violence.
There's no way to do justice to the book's storyline in just a few hundred words--it's a roller coaster. But what I found to be the book's greatest strengths, beyond the ever-changing action, was the portrayal of protagonist Sonchai's very human character and his relationships with his wife, mother and colleagues. None of those characters is the least mainstream in general concept (think prostitutes, transsexuals, bipolar Chinese cops, etc.) but they are all given respectful three-dimension personas and the reader comes to invest some interest and sympathy in each of them.
There are times when the storyline and its accompanying violence may cross the line for the average mystery reader, but Burdett probably isn't writing for the average reader of any genre and his books have to be approached in that way. "Vulture Peak" is a wild ride, but witty, entertaining, and worth ignoring the meaner bits.