The Queen of Patpong (Poke Rafferty Series #4)

The Queen of Patpong (Poke Rafferty Series #4)

4.1 35
by Timothy Hallinan
     
 

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American travel writer Poke Rafferty has seen—and survived—some of the worst Bangkok has to offer. But now, finally married to his longtime love, Rose, and raising the young daughter, Miaow, they adopted from the streets, Poke believes his life is stable at last. Then a nightmare figure from Rose's time as a Patpong dancer barges into their world,

Overview

American travel writer Poke Rafferty has seen—and survived—some of the worst Bangkok has to offer. But now, finally married to his longtime love, Rose, and raising the young daughter, Miaow, they adopted from the streets, Poke believes his life is stable at last. Then a nightmare figure from Rose's time as a Patpong dancer barges into their world, threatening their peace, their love, their home, their lives. Suddenly Poke's only recourse is to uncover the whole truth of Rose's past—to follow the dark and twisting journey that turned a shy, awkward village teenager into the queen of Asia's most lurid red-light district: Patpong Road. But the secrets that await him may be almost impossible for Poke to accept—and even harder to survive.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hallinan's compassionate fourth Poke Rafferty thriller (after Breathing Water) finds Poke and his live-in girlfriend, Rose, finally married, but a specter from Rose's past as a dancer on Bangkok's notorious Patpong Road comes back to haunt her. As a naïve country girl named Kwan, Rose fell for the charms of American Howard Horner, never suspecting that Horner's true interest in her involved something far darker than romance. Long thought dead, sly predator Horner is back in Bangkok to stalk Rose and all who are dear to her. Hallinan uses the menace Horner represents to springboard into a sympathetic depiction of Rose's life, revealing without condescension how a simple farm girl decided that the least bad of all the unappealing options open to her was to offer herself to a parade of strangers for money. Rafferty neither idolizes nor demonizes Bangkok's sex workers, instead casting an empathetic but incisive eye on a class of people often reduced to mere caricature. (Sept.)
Booklist
"[The Queen of Patpong] is a breakthrough.... Riveting, genuinely, moving, and entirely plausible.... A terrific page-turner, and the surprising denouement will thrill readers who want the good guys—or girls— to win in the end."
Booklist (starred review)
“[The Queen of Patpong] is a breakthrough.... Riveting, genuinely, moving, and entirely plausible.... A terrific page-turner, and the surprising denouement will thrill readers who want the good guys—or girls— to win in the end.”
Lou Berney
“Ferociously compelling and deeply moving – the rare thriller that manages to keep you on the edge of your seat at the same time it opens your eyes and heart.”
Laura Joh Rowland
“Sexy, exotic, and profound. Timothy Hallinan makes noir poetry out of corruption and violence.”
John Lescroart
“I have loved all of Tim Hallinan’s “Bangkok” novels, and his latest, The Queen of Patpong, is the best yet.... You won’t read a better thriller this year!”
Ken Bruen
“Tim Hallinan is one of the great unsung mystery writers. His latest in the Poke Rafferty series is his best yet.... John Burdett writes about Bangkok. Tim Hallinan IS......Bangkok. I adore this book.”
Gregg Hurwitz
The Queen of Patpong is a razor-sharp, convincing, and heartbreaking glimpse of the dark underbelly of a culture, and a white-knuckle thriller all in one. Hold on tight and cancel your morning meetings. Hallinan is a stunning talent.”
Stephen Jay Schwartz
“Timothy Hallinan’s The Queen of Patpong is pure magic; a compelling thriller grown from a dark and treacherous soil.... Hallinan is courageous in his exploration of sexual exploitation, greed and corruption. I’ve read no one better on the subject.”
Brett Battles
The Queen of Patpong is simply outstanding. Compelling, heart-wrenching, and oh so satisfying.... Hallinan has once again proved to me why he is one of my all time favorite authors.”
Gar Anthony Haywood
“Timothy Hallinan has written a thriller that hits every bulls-eye. An exotic locale, a human, all-too-believable protagonist, and a villain that would give James Lee Burke nightmares. The Queen of Patpong reads like a bullet train on fire.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061672262
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
08/17/2010
Series:
Poke Rafferty Series, #4
Pages:
312
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

What People are saying about this

Gar Anthony Haywood
“Timothy Hallinan has written a thriller that hits every bulls-eye. An exotic locale, a human, all-too-believable protagonist, and a villain that would give James Lee Burke nightmares. The Queen of Patpong reads like a bullet train on fire.”
Brett Battles
The Queen of Patpong is simply outstanding. Compelling, heart-wrenching, and oh so satisfying.... Hallinan has once again proved to me why he is one of my all time favorite authors.”
Stephen Jay Schwartz
“Timothy Hallinan’s The Queen of Patpong is pure magic; a compelling thriller grown from a dark and treacherous soil.... Hallinan is courageous in his exploration of sexual exploitation, greed and corruption. I’ve read no one better on the subject.”
John Lescroart
“I have loved all of Tim Hallinan’s “Bangkok” novels, and his latest, The Queen of Patpong, is the best yet.... You won’t read a better thriller this year!”
Lou Berney
“Ferociously compelling and deeply movingthe rare thriller that manages to keep you on the edge of your seat at the same time it opens your eyes and heart.”
Gregg Hurwitz
The Queen of Patpong is a razor-sharp, convincing, and heartbreaking glimpse of the dark underbelly of a culture, and a white-knuckle thriller all in one. Hold on tight and cancel your morning meetings. Hallinan is a stunning talent.”
Laura Joh Rowland
“Sexy, exotic, and profound. Timothy Hallinan makes noir poetry out of corruption and violence.”
Ken Bruen
“Tim Hallinan is one of the great unsung mystery writers. His latest in the Poke Rafferty series is his best yet.... John Burdett writes about Bangkok. Tim Hallinan IS......Bangkok. I adore this book.”

Meet the Author

Timothy Hallinan is the author of nine widely praised books: eight novels—including the Bangkok thrillers featuring Poke Rafferty, A Nail Through the Heart, The Fourth Watcher, and Breathing Water—and a work of nonfiction. Along with his wife, Munyin Choy, he divides his time equally between Los Angeles, California, and Southeast Asia.

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Queen of Patpong 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 35 reviews.
chrispaulie More than 1 year ago
Tim Hallinan has outdone himself! For those of you who have followed Poke, Rose, Miaow and Arthit this is the story of Rose-her history and terrifying encounter with a character from her past. This is one of the best written villains I have encountered in reading literature. The bonding that occurs between Poke and his little family in order to bring about the story's powerful and stunning resolution is character writing at its best. Give yourself a chance to live and breathe the streets of Bangkok! Put yourself on a train that starts off at a nice pace and winds up carrying you at warp speed to a thrilling ending. This book has it all-thrills, humor, heart, place and impeccable writing style. I don't allow myself to read more than 40 pages a day with this author because I have to wait another year for his next book. With Queen of Patpong I was forced to read it nonstop until I reached the very last page. I admit it, I've become a Tim Hallinan addict because he keeps outdoing himself and it is just too difficult to keep from finding out where he is going next and what that furtive imagination will yield next!!
memsie More than 1 year ago
This book sucks you right in and carries you along with the characters. I discover this is number 4 in the series about the same people, so I will now go back and find out what I've missed earlier. Lots of macho action (fist fights, traffic dodging, chase scene in the middle of the water) and feminine angst (leading female figure grows up in rural Thai poverty, circumstances move her to Bangkok and a life she's never envisioned). Very enjoyable.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Bangkok, American travel writer Poke Rafferty and his lover Rose marry and forge a family with their adopted daughter Miaow. The adults are euphoric that their child is playing Ariel in a school production of the Tempest. However, their idyllic life is battered at a restaurant when Rose's past on Patpong Road raises its ugly head with the return of Howard Homer from the dead while Rose thought she dispatched him years ago. Now Homer has plans for his woman while Rose thinks back to 1996 when as a country bumpkin teen Kwan was forced to leave her life on a farm to accept employment in the Red Light District as a bar dancer. There is where she encountered Homer who almost killed her before she was able to she thought kill him. Homer stalks Rose, Poke their adopted daughter Miaow and friend Arthit. The latest Poke Rafferty Thailand thriller (see Breathing Water) is a brilliant entry due to the intelligent way Timothy Hallinan deftly handles Rose's back story as a dancer in the red light district. By not condemning or condoning her actions, Mr. Hallinan makes the tale seem real as he makes it clear this is simply a way of life. Homer brings the suspense to the streets of Bangkok as fans anticipate a High Noon confrontation perhaps on Patpong Road. Harriet Klausner
RedLeslie More than 1 year ago
Mr. Hallinan does not disappoint. I can't wait for another Poke Rafferty book.
HappyreaderSB More than 1 year ago
This fourth installment of Timothy Hallinan's Poke Rafferty series, set in Bangkok, is such a stunning, magical thriller that it will be a real challenge to do it justice here. But I'll give it a try. American travel writer Poke, former bar dancer Rose, and their adoptive daughter, Miaow, have at last become a family. They are enjoying dinner in a restaurant one evening, when a dangerous, evil man from Rose's past whom she thought she had killed in self-defense suddenly appears, threatening their newfound happiness and their lives. A section of the book called "The Sea Change" takes us back into Rose's past, in 1996, when the innocent teenage girl is coerced to leave her village and become immersed in a radically different sort of life as a bar dancer in Bangkok's red-light district Patpong. It's there that she meets the handsome man who very nearly ends her life. The whole story is ingeniously interwoven with scenes from a school production of "The Tempest," in which Miaow is appearing as Ariel. This compelling, beautifully written novel is not only suspenseful and filled with twists and turns; it's also deeply moving, with vividly drawn characters, and it comes to an unexpected resolution that's very, very satisfying. Strongly recommended for anyone who enjoys a terrific thriller of high literary quality.
TheReadingWriter More than 1 year ago
We had a heat wave in the Northeast U.S. this week, but I didn't mind-I felt completely simpatico with the characters in Timothy Hallinan's new Poke Rafferty thriller set in Thailand. Hallinan did such a good job getting us inside his characters and their lives, I felt as though I'd just spent a week in Southeast Asia. In this latest offering, Hallinan describes how one comes to live the life of a bar girl in Patpong, Bangkok. While undoubtedly fiction, it sounded plausible enough to describe the experiences of many country girls sold to the meat markets of the city, making their way the best they can. Hallinan has the good sense to be matter-of-fact about life in Thailand. He is no apologist for a whole country or way of life, but he has a depth of sympathy for the reality of people's lives and a deep and abiding love for people of honor, wherever he finds them. And he describes Thailand with the splash and fizz it deserves-one can smell the markets and hear the traffic. In The Queen of Patpong, Hallinan succeeds on many levels: Poke Rafferty daughter is acting in a school play, and it is described with such skill, one feels one has just read a particularly good newspaper review. One wants to race right out and book a ticket. The central mystery of the novel circles and mirrors the play ingeniously, and the play itself is central to a final resolution of the mystery. Hallinan deserves very high marks for this wonderful warm and friendly novel, and for sharing his imagination and his life with us. I asked a friend once what was the draw of the TV serial Sex in the City. She replied that, for her, the strength and depth of the female friendships was the draw. She knew it was fiction, but it presented such a wonderful fiction that she watched it whenever she could. Hallinan has a little of that specialness in his books. There is such friendliness, such sincere human-to-human contact, one wants to be in that place. Kudos, Hallinan.
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