Thursday, May 23, 2013

Bangkok Wet / Simon Royle

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Thriller

Approximate word count: 80-85,000 words

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“Simon Royle was born in Manchester, England in 1963. He has been variously a yachtsman, advertising executive, and a senior management executive in software companies. A futurist and a technologist, he lives in Bangkok, with his wife and two children.”

Royle has two other books available: Tag, a technothriller set in the future, and Bangkok Burn, a thriller set in contemporary Thailand, the first book in the Bangkok series (Bangkok Wet is the second).


“As Bangkok barricades itself against a rising flood of toxic waste, Chance has got some wet work of his own going on. He'd rather be on honeymoon with Pim; that had been the plan.

But the plan didn't include the untimely death of a Godfather's son, being blamed for the theft of a billion baht, and a move by a rival gang on Big Tiger's territory; now there's a new plan - war and retribution.

Funny thing about guns and plans - everyone's got one.”


Bangkok Wet continues the story of Chance, the farang (a Caucasian, in Thai), who is being groomed to take over his adoptive Thai father’s crime family. With his childhood friend and bodyguard, Chai, in tow, Chance searches for his new bride (kidnapped before they could leave on their honeymoon) and runs afoul of multiple groups with their own agendas. In the end, he uncovers some unexpected history and plenty of nefarious goings-on.

I view the Bangkok series as akin to a Thai version of The Godfather. The interaction between the members of the crime family, other crime families, police, politicians, and civilians is similar in some regards, yet not in others. The setting in Thailand and the cultural differences add much to the story and its feel. It also occurs to me that Chance, although in theory on the wrong side of the law, is a character who I pull for because he lives by a code that, while crossing lines that might make him seem bad, is actually more ethical and moral than the corrupt government officials he often has to deal with. Just as with Bangkok Burn, this latest installment of the Bangkok series is a fast paced thrill ride through the Thai underground, and should keep you on the edge of your seat right up to the shocking end.


Some adult language.

Although the second book in the Bangkok series, Bangkok Wet can stand on its own. However, there are some advantages to reading Bangkok Burn first, primarily a fuller understanding of the history between the characters and a more complete back-story.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: ***** Five stars

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