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Thank you, Audible, for bringing Timothy Hallinan's Poke Rafferty to a new reader. Poke, Rose, Miaou and Boo come to life in the streets of Bangkok through Victor Bevine's excellent narration. There is depth in the relationships between the characters that is touching, multi-faceted and honest. Hallinan's ability to bring very difficult topics to light is almost heroic: he doesn't go for the easy answers, instead he presents a picture of a brutal world with tenderness for the victims and hope for those who are able to forge emotional bonds, however fragile, in spite of their pasts. A word of warning: the subject matter at the heart of the book is very hard to bear. If I had been reading the book instead of listening to it, I would have skipped many pages. It's probably a good thing that I couldn't - just because I don't want to read it, doesn't mean I shouldn't know it. Kudos to Mr. Hallinan. I can hardly wait to read the next Poke Rafferty book.
29 of 29 people found this review helpful
Hallinan is writing some of the most enjoyable, offbeat crime novels around today. He creates fascinating, deeply human characters. His Bangkok soon begins to feel familiar to us and yet still never ceases to fascinate, unsettle and beguile. And Poke Rafferty is an unusual combination of sweet, domestic yearning and exotic street smarts, fiercely determined to protect and nurture his incipient family and precariously balanced between viscera and grey matter.
As with all of the Rafferty books, the plot of "Nail" is complex and satisfying. Also typical is the fact that there are no easy answers to the good/evil questions as the story unwinds. In fact, the traditional categories of villain and victim are turned on their heads here.
This is the first of the Poke Rafferty series, and a great place to start, though I began with "The Queen of Patpong," a remarkably good book, and have enjoyed coming back to the early offerings without any problem with spoilers. As I write this I find that "Queen" is currently unavailable, but I hope Audible will restore it to the active list very soon. Wherever you begin, I strongly advise you to start now. This is very good stuff and is extremely well read by Victor Bevine. Enjoy!
26 of 26 people found this review helpful