Poisoned Pen, 2007 (2007)
Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth
pen the first pages of Charles Benoit's
and prepare for the ride of your life. Hang on until the end - taking a breath now and then - and enjoy the most thrilling adventure story of the year.
enoit is an inveterate traveler who uses his destinations as backdrops for his books. This time it's southern Thailand – predominately the resort community of Phuket. Desert Storm veteran Mark Rohr is approached by Robin. She asks him to find her brother, presumed dead in the tsunami that caused such devastation. Catching sight of her brother in a TV broadcast, Robin has traveled from the States to find him.
ark, who is working as a bouncer in the local bar scene, has bummed around the Pacific for some time and is looking for depth in his life. Maybe Robin can provide that for him. He takes on her quest as his own and embarks on the search. He meets Pim, along with her grandfather and nephew, the only members of her family to survive the tsunami. To Rohr's peril, Jarin, the local mafia wannabe, joins in the hunt.
know this is a novel, but the conditions existing today in Phuket are explored by Benoit and described in detail. Thailand has come off my must-go-to list. The sexual favors for sale there boggle the mind.
ut back to the action – Benoit has filled almost every page with breath stopping danger. Rohr not only must determine Robin's true mission, but must also contend with bodyguards who mean him no good, pirates (yes, pirates in this day and age) who don't care whom they kill, women with designs on his body, lies, deception, tasers as well as guns that shoot real bullets and sharp knives wielded by desperate men. Don't miss this powerful book.
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