The Queen of Patpong (Poke Rafferty Series #4)

The Queen of Patpong (Poke Rafferty Series #4)

by Timothy Hallinan


View All Available Formats & Editions
Use Standard Shipping. For guaranteed delivery by December 24, use Express or Expedited Shipping.

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)

About 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.

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.”

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Queen of Patpong 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 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.
imsodion on LibraryThing 29 days ago
This book showed up as a recommendation via LT. I was not impressed with the writing, with the huge gaping holes in the story-line and the sensationalist topic that offered no deeper insight into the plight of Thai children being sold into the sex trade industry than a Hollywood Tabloid. Even the author's disclaimer at the end of the book suggesting that MOST mercenaries are nice guys was, in my opinion, just more empty fodder to gain attention for this book. Poke's wife is a product of the sex trade - okay. All of a sudden a man from her past rises up like the devil himself, to terrorize her and the family. Rose repeatedly implies that Horner - the bad mercenary that's after her/them has limitless power and then proceeds to do nothing but stare out windows and smoke. Poke leaves Rose and their daughter alone numerous times while his wife is in extreme danger but as luck would have it, her chain smoking is never interrupted. Big bad Horner and his evil buddy do attack Poke and the daughter but they make short work of scaring Horner away and the buddy is crushed by a bus because he forgot that Thai's drive on the opposite side of the street than Americans. Now, the deep part - Rose/Kwan tells her superficial story of her evil father and how she is sold into the sex industry .... she didn't know how beautiful she was, she saved huge sums of money - where did that go, what's the point? Rose/Kwan just turned off being a prostitute and "love" transformed her into a pouty wife that operates a house cleaning business to further exploit the bar girls that she is able to pluck out of the business without any repercussions from the bar operators/mama-sans, in fact the mama-sans readily take up Rose/Kwan's "noble" cause and - oh, don't let me ruin the ending for anyone. If you loved the film "Pretty Woman" and hoped that a poor Thai version book would come out, then you're in luck.
macabr on LibraryThing 29 days ago
THE QUEEN OF PATPONG, A POKE RAFFERTY THRILLER is a title that is something of a misnomer. It is the fourth book in the Poke Rafferty series by Timothy Hallinan, but while it is definitely a thriller it isn¿t really a Poke Rafferty book. The book belongs to Rose, Poke¿s wife, a former dancer in a bar, whose outstanding beauty made her the queen of the red -light district of Bangkok. And that isn¿t quite right either. Would any woman be happy with a title that describes ¿what¿ she is when the ¿who¿ she is goes so far beyond that sad bit of geography that has come to define, in many minds, Bangkok?Rose is extraordinary and so is her story. Both owe their existence to the great talent of the author who has written a book that defines the experience of the brutally poor young women who are forced to sell their beauty and, in many unfortunate cases, their souls so that they can support their families and perhaps, hopefully, keep their younger sisters from having to make the same deal with the devil.Hallinan choreographs chapter one so that readers who are just discovering the series with THE QUEEN OF PATPONG have enough information to understand the underside of Bangkok. For those who are familiar with the characters, chapter one is funny and a bit reassuring after BREATHING WATER. Chapter two lulls readers as they go to dinner with Poke, Rose, and Miaow who is caught up in her role as Ariel in her school¿s production of THE TEMPEST. It is a glimpse into the life of a happy family until, suddenly, it isn¿t. A man approaches and places his palms flat on the table in front of Rose. Rose is terrified. Rose was sure he was dead because she was sure she had killed him.Howard Horner is a nightmare from Rose¿s past. The next day, when Poke discovers evidence that Horner knows where they live and when Miaow spots Horner¿s associate, John, stalking them, the stakes have been upped and Poke has to become proactive in protecting his family.Poke leaves Miaow in the cab and follows John to a the Beer Garden, where he runs, literally, into Pim, a girl from the north who is following the same path from poverty as Rose did. When Poke asks Pim to see if John is inside, things go badly, and Pim becomes a hostage. Poke takes care of John; Poke takes Pim home. Emotions are unbridled, glass breaks, doors slam, voices are raised, tears flow and, because Pim reminds Rose of herself, the girl whose name was Kwan, Rose talks about her past to save the girl and to save her family.It is in this part of the book that Hallinan¿s writing soars. As Rose tells her story, she disappears and becomes Kwan, the very tall village girl called, disparagingly, Stork. Kwan is beautiful although she does not know it. She is very bright, something she does know. Her teacher and a man from the Children¿s Scholarship Fund come to her home to offer her father money to allow Kwan to stay in school, to even move on to college. But her father refuses and with that refusal Kwan realizes that he has already sold her to a brothel in Bangkok. Rather than becoming a vitual slave, Kwan decides to leave town quietly with Nana, a village girl who has been working on Patpong. Rose continues her story¿.When she is finished, Poke knows that Rose and Miaow will not be safe as long as Howard Horner is free to roam Bangkok. His claim that Rose broke a promise is true and for a man with Horner¿s ego, she needs to pay for that with her life. Poke brings Pim along as he hides his family in Arthit¿s house. Once the women are safe, Poke begins to put into action a plan borrowed from THE TEMPEST.The author makes frequent references to THE TEMPEST throughout the novel. The first section is entitled ¿Caliban¿ after the half-man, half-monster in the play. Horner is Caliban, who believes himself the victim of gross injustice. The second section, the story of Kwan/Rose is entitled ¿Sea Change¿. In the play, Shakespeare writes: ¿Of his bones are coral made:/ Those are pearls t
FMRox on LibraryThing 29 days ago
Poke Rafferty living in Bangkok has married a former sex worker. Her tale now comes to live when she runs into evil from her past life.Not a big fan of fiction about the international sex industry and it was hard to stay with the novel. Author Hallinan did a good job keeping it from becoming too soap-box but it was a hard topic. This is why it didn't rate high for me. The mystery part was still good.
blockbuster1994 on LibraryThing 29 days ago
This is an exceptional novel, certainly deserving its Edgar nomination. Timothy Hallinan writes with a graceful ease that makes Queen of Patpong highly readable. Within a short time, Thailand literally popped off the pages. Hallinan articulated both rural and urban Thailand, vastly different worlds unto themselves, with such authority and vivid detail, I literally felt transported into a wholly new and exotic culture. The central story revolves around a young Thai girl's birthwright into poor village hopelessness, which by unfortunate fate, ultimately compelled her into big city prostitution. Hallinan's prespective is straighforward, the seediness of Rose's situation is always present, but not overstated. Hallinan masterfully spins the tension of that situation into a life and death showdown with a truly evil person from Rose's past.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago