The Fear Artist

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The Fear Artist

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More About This Book

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for The Fear Artist

Voted one of Deadly Pleasures Magazine’s “Best Mystery-Crime Novels of 2012.”

"At the start of Edgar-finalist Hallinan’s heartrending, unforgettable fifth Poke Rafferty thriller (after 2010’s The Queen of Patpong), travel writer Rafferty collides with an overweight man around 65, possibly a German or American, on a wet Bangkok street. The man, whose head is oddly sunburned, manages to say a woman’s name before expiring from multiple gunshots. When the cops at the scene insist the man wasn’t shot, Rafferty knows he’s headed for trouble. Forced to betray his best friend, Rafferty turns for help to leftover cold war spooks from the other side as he uncovers evidence that the Pentagon has resurrected the Phoenix Program, which the U.S. used in Vietnam, to counter Muslim terrorists in southern Thailand. Hallinan gives his readers, who should be prepared for gruesome torture scenes, no chance to escape from his somber conviction that what America has become by pursuing the war on terror was never what America was supposed to be."
—Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

—Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

“The volcanic American sadist is the author’s best yet… Simply the best of a fine series of thrillers set in one of the world’s most exotic locales.”

“Hallinan not only writes a relentless-as-the-rain paced thriller, sprinkled with an off-beat, cynical humor, but the poignant emotional sides of the characters and the intelligent and beautiful plot and storytelling soak the reader's heart to the skin. The social issues, starkly and honestly portraying the exploitation of women and children will haunt you.... This is literary fiction of the first order told in the form of an elegant and intricate thriller.”
—Seattle PI

“Must-read crime fiction.”
—Mystery Scene

"[The Fear Artist] presents a view of Thailand's underbelly that few visitors ever see.” —Contra Costa Times

“Hallinan seems almost incapable of writing badly, and his Poke Rafferty series has been a personal favorite of mine from its inception. However, THE FEAR ARTIST sets an entirely new standard for the author against which his future efforts will be judged."

“Just put Timothy Hallinan's Poke Rafferty novel The Fear Artist way high on my top 10 thrillers list. Violent, gritty, & moving.”
Nancy Pearl (via Twitter)

"A well-told tale, and one that is recommended." 
—Midwest Book Review

“Papa Hemingway used to say, “Write about what you know.” Hallinan does a hell of a job following his advice.”
Criminal Element

“Absolutely the best book in the series.”
Murder On Demand

“If I gave stars, THE FEAR ARTIST would get ten.”
Murder By Type

Praise for The Queen of Patpong
"Taut, offbeat and fast-moving.... Hallinan's unlikely hero shines in this sometimes funny, always engrossing and undeniably authentic story that explores a dark and fascinating side of Thailand."
Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
"Riveting, genuinely, moving, and entirely plausible.... A terrific page-turner."
Booklist, Starred Review

"You won't read a better thriller this year!"
—John Lescroart, New York Times–bestselling author of Treasure Hunt

From the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781616952556
  • Publisher: Soho Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/18/2013
  • Pages: 342
  • Sales rank: 763,294
  • Product dimensions: 5.16 (w) x 7.38 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Fighting the Last War

    One thing you can always count on in a Poke Rafferty novel: Wherever he is, trouble will find him. Even in such an innocent task as buying two gallons of paint to refurbish his apartment while his wife and daughter are away. As Poke is leaving the store, a man is shot dead, whispering three words to Poke as he expires, and thereby setting off a chain of events that powers the plot.

    Nearly at once, Poke is almost arrested by security forces, and he flees until he can ascertain what’s going on. And it’s a rough trail. Apparently he is thought to know something important, but he doesn’t know what the thing that he was told by the dying man means. Obviously, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

    Meanwhile, the monsoon is rampaging and flood waters rising to engulf Bangkok, as Poke runs around attempting to solve his problems. Unlike the previous four entries in the series, there is little humor in the novel to lighten Poke’s problems and the reader’s concerns. This is a serious book questioning whether the security steps taken in the name of our nation’s defense against terrorism (whether here in the United States or in southern Thailand where thousands have been slain to date) is justified, or is a violation of basic rights.

    A well-told tale, and one that is recommended.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 26, 2012

    Hallinan Does it again with the Fear Artist

    If you want to read a suspenseful and sometimes funny book set in Thailand then this character, Poke Rafferty and author, Timothy Hallinan is for you. If you want to read exciting detective novels set in the USA then Hallinan has another series for you. You will not be disappointed with any of Halliinan's books. I wasn't.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 20, 2012

    Poke Rafferty.. A simple day he thinks..But it turns out to to b

    Poke Rafferty.. A simple day he thinks..But it turns out to to be an engrossing novel that had me up very late just to finish it..I was so impressed with the enormous research that Tim Hallinan had done..That I thought we as Americans Will we ever learn the truth..Poke encounters Secrets that he shouldn't know..But it only gets his adrenaline pumping to find out all he could..All the while not telling his Family..who are away at the time..Then a Girl shows up..WIll not post any spoilers..A Multi Generational Novel, do you want to know?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted October 31, 2012

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    Posted July 17, 2012

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    Posted January 30, 2013

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