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Breathing Water (Poke Rafferty Series #3)

Average Rating 4
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 35 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted December 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Breathing Bangkok

    Timothy Hallinan's 3d "Poke Rafferty" novel cements his place as a prominent author of tales of Bangkok. Hallinan's Bangkok may not be the one that the tourist, or anybody, for that matter, sees, but it is a riveting place for a good drama. With Thai supporting characters showing love and heart, the book will take you on a long tale about crime and power thriving on poverty. Hallinan joins John Burdett as must-read authors for fans of Bangkok.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 8, 2009

    Breathing Water grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go

    Breathing Water was my first experience with author Tim Hallinan. The book grabbed me by the throat and didn't let up until the last page.
    From the time a newborn is handed over like an unimportant package to a young girl as a "prop" to help her beg from tourists in the street until the very satisfying conclusion of the book, Mr. Hallinan weaves a multi-textured tapestry that delights all the senses. I was drawn into the world of his amazingly layered characters and you will be as well.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 29, 2011

    Loved it!

    So many twists and turns, you'll get dizzy.

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  • Posted April 17, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Another Hallinan book I couldn't put down

    BREATHING WATER is the third book in Timothy Hallinan's Poke Rafferty series set in Bangkok. In the book, Bangkok is as much a character in the story as it is the setting of it. In the first eight pages, the author brings to life the worst sins of Thailand, the sexual exploitation of children as well as the kidnapping of infants for sale to Americans and Europeans, desperate for what they have been denied. In the first eight pages, Hallinan grabs the reader and doesn't let go even when the story ends.

    After a rigged poker game goes wrong, Poke Rafferty finds himself committed to writing the biography of Khun Pan, a fabulously rich and powerful self-made man from Issan, the most desperately poor region of Thailand. Poke's wife, Rose, is also from Isaan and to her, Pan is a hero because he has grabbed power from the people who have held it for generations. To others, Pan is an object of hate and fear and the biography has the potential to destroy more than a few lives and luxuries.

    Pan wants Poke to write a book about his life as he, the subject, sees it. But Poke is threatened immediately by people who want the biography written their way and by people who don't want it written at all. Soon Rose and their daughter, Miaow, are threatened and Poke has to find a way to protect the people he loves.

    Hallinan writes thrillers and the Bangkok series does not disappoint on that score. Hallinan also writes stories that tell about the best and the worst in human beings and about the human capacity to rise above the experiences that could destroy them. The Bangkok series doesn't disappoint on that score, either. Poke and Arthit, his closest friend and a high-ranking police officer, are decent men who want nothing more in their lives than to love their families and protect their friends from whatever might threaten them. They never fail at the first and, sometimes, the ability to do the second is taken out of their control.

    Poke is caught between opposing forces who will destroy his family if he doesn't follow their conflicting demands. Arthit tells Poke he is "...wandering around on the riverbed without a map, and breathing water. You just haven't realized it yet." There is a subtle difference between "breathing under water" and "breathing water". People have been breathing under water since they first put a hollow reed in their mouths and let the top rise just above the water line. But breathing water is impossible. When it happens when we forget to keep our mouths closed when we dive, our physical selves go into panic mode, driving us to get to the air so we can save our own lives. Forced into BREATHING WATER, Poke rises above the fear and is driven to save himself so he can save the people he loves and the people who need him.

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