I love his playful, hardboiled L.A. series featuring full-time thief and part-time private detective Junior Bender. Those books are great fun. But his Poke Rafferty series, set in Bangkok, is more ambitious; and his new one, For The Dead, is the best one yet.
Poke and his family are in mortal danger when they accidentally get caught up in a case of police corruption. And that’s all I care to reveal about the riveting plot.
What I will tell you is that Miaow, the orphaned child Poke and his Thai wife Rose rescued from the streets, takes center stage this time, emerging as the most compelling female crime-fiction character since Ree Dolly stole our hearts in Daniel Woodrell’s Winter’s Bone.
Hallinan portrays the underbelly of Bangkok so vividly that you’ll smell the smell the rot and feel the steam rising from your skin. The prose is first-rate throughout, and at times exquisite — as fine as anything this side the best of James Lee Burke.
I can’t say enough about how much I admire this book and envy the talent it took to create it. For The Dead, scheduled to be published in November, is sure to make my short list of the best of 2014.
You can learn more about Tim and his work here.