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For the Dead    by Timothy Hallinan order for
For the Dead
by Timothy Hallinan
Order:  USA  Can
Soho, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Set in Bangkok, Thailand, the Poke Rafferty series has stretched six novels with the release of For the Dead. Author Timothy Hallinan, who divides his time between California and Thailand, knows his setting intimately and includes the knowledge of the Thai culture he has collected over the years.

Those who have followed the thrillers have also come to know the protagonist's strengths and weaknesses as well as his relationships with local Thai citizens. Married and settled down with an adopted daughter, Poke has matured and, for now, he's financially secure. But, as this latest installment of the series underscores, Poke can still stumble into a hornet's nest of trouble.

In this instance, his Thai daughter Miaow, and her boyfriend Andrew get themselves into a serious mess when they try to replace the boy's iPhone with a stolen one. Unfortunately, the device has some photos on it that are linked to corruption on the local police force.

Naturally this sets off a chain of events as the bad guys try to get the phone back and silence anyone who has seen the photos. Poke is naturally going to do everything he can to protect the two youngsters but he will have to enlist Andrew's father, who is attached to the Vietnamese Embassy and holds a high ranking position.

Walking a thin line between making sure the teenagers remain safe while dealing with the violent murders of two disgraced police officers means defusing a volatile situation that points to the involvement of some of Bangkok's most important law enforcement officials.

Making it even more difficult is Miaow's attitude caused my raging hormones and the realization that she will soon be a big sister. The adopted girl fears her parents may not want or love her any more because of the new arrival.

There's a lot going on in For the Dead and the exotic setting makes the predicament that Poke and his daughter find themselves in all the more interesting. The insertion of Andrew's father into the resolution of the problem is a stroke of genius, since without his special expertise the whole thing could have ended quite badly.

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