Bangkok 8 Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Bangkok 8

Knopf, Jun 2003, 24.00, 318 pp.
ISBN: 1400040442

In Bangkok the corpse of African-American US Marine William Bradley is found in his Mercedes along with cobras and a giant python. Not long afterward, the partner of Detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep is also found dead in a similar manner.
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Because he speaks English, “half-caste Third World” Detective Sonchai is assigned to investigate primarily the marine murder. However, he knows the hidden message that he must work closely with the Americans, which means don't let the facts interfere with the prime objective not to annoy the Yankee authorities. Sonchai escorts FBI agent Kimberley Jones through the nastiest part of town in quest of Bradley's female companion. As they inch closer to locating the missing woman, the half American Sonchai (unknown Yankee father) finds the Fed he is working with quite attractive, but his Buddhist beliefs keep him from crossing a line more dangerous than being stuck inside a car with deadly snakes as companions.

BANGKOK 8 is a refreshing police procedural due to the unique lead protagonist. The who-done-it is well written though the climax seems a bit forced and rushed. The insight into Buddhism is brilliantly interwoven into the tale so that the audience gains depths of knowledge that never slows down the story line. Also cleverly interlaced inside the investigation is a deep look at sex practices. The tale belongs to Sonchai, a vulnerable fatalist with an inner strength and self-deprecating humor that makes him an incredible character that hopefully has many future lives.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Bangkok 8

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 20%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 40% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   70% Murder of certain profession?    -   soldiers Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, American Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   police/lawman Age:    -   20's-30's


Asia/Pacific    -   Yes Asian country:    -   Southeast Asia

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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John Burdett Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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