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As one of the most noir novels in the Vincent Calvino ...
As one of the most noir novels in the Vincent Calvino series, Missing in Rangoon plays out beneath the moving shadows of the cross-border drug barons. Pratt and Calvino's lives are entangled with the invisible forces inside the old regime and their allies who continue to play by their own set of rules.
Posted January 2, 2013
The best Christopher G. Moore novel I have ever read - and one of the best hard boiled crime novels in general and Bangkok based noir crime novels in particular that I have read in the past three years. It is #13 in the Vincent Calvino crime series, featuring former American lawyer Vinny Calvino, turned Bangkok P.I. This tale takes Calvino and his longtime best friend and protector, Bangkok saxaphone playing Police Colonel Prat to Burma/Myanmar in a combination missing person case and amphetamine drug smuggling investigation. Superb writing from beginning to middle to end with a perfect balance of dialogue and descriptive narrative in the Moore psychoanalytic/literary/existentialist style. It features characters such as a sultry singer nicknamed Black Cat, a Burmese private investigator who doubles as an astrologer, lottery ticket sellers, dream tellers, nightmare makers, an obstinate newspaper publisher, a big-time Thai / Burmese drug lord family feud and my personal favorite, Alan Osborne the father of the son who has gone missing in Rangoon. Settings include a Five Star Hotel with balcony view of the Shwedegon Pogoda, a 1 star flop house, jazz clubs in Rangoon and Bangkok and the real village people of Myanmar. Most readers of Bangkok based crime fiction would agree that the three most read protagonists would be Moore's, VINCENT CALVINO, John Burdett's, SONCHAI JETTLECHEEP and Timothy Hallinan's POKE RAFFERTY series. If you are not familiar with any of these authors do yourself a favor and read all three. If you are familiar with them you will understand when I say, MISSING IN RANGOON is to Moore as BANGKOK 8 is to Burdett and QUEEN OF PATPONG is to Hallinan. At a time when Burma/Myanmar is opening up, (President Obama was just there - Jason Mraz will play there soon) it is a perfect way to learn about Burma's colorful real-life history while being entertained by a well crafted, believable crime story with details you won't get in your morning newspaper. If you've read Moore before this is an easy call to make. If you never have, start with this one. A really fun read on a number of levels.
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