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Publisher's Summary

Back when Poke Rafferty first arrived in Bangkok to write a travel guide, some of the old-timers in the Expat Bar on Patpong Road helped him make sense of the city. Now these men - many of whom have been living in Southeast Asia since the Vietnam War - have grown old and, in some cases, frail. When a talkative stranger named Arthur Varney turns up, they accept him without suspicion, failing to see that he's actually using them to get to Poke. Varney wants two things: money Poke doesn't have and a person Poke is unwilling to hand over. It becomes apparent quite quickly that there's nothing Varney won't do to secure his goals. As his actions threaten the foundation of Poke's life in Thailand, the aging men of the Expat Bar discover that they might still be a force to reckon with.
Cover design by James Iacobelli.
©2015 Timothy Hallinan (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Richard Delman on 11-08-15

The lukewarm countries

What did you like best about The Hot Countries? What did you like least?

I think that Tim Hallinan has finally dipped into the well of Bangkok and Poke Rafferty's life one time too many. I still love his writing, still, but the speed of the narration is so fast that it's distracting. Of course I am liking Rose's pregnancy, and the fact that Miaow is growing up into an actress, but the setting is beginning to wear on me.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The cast of characters in the bar has become stale. This new guy, Varney, is the most crushing bore ever, anywhere on earth. Why exactly Tim thinks that we should listen to this guy rant and rave on and on is a puzzle which really doesn't interest me. It's just waaay boring. Somebody should shut the guy up, right away.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Victor Bevine?

Maybe. He is going much too fast here, for reasons I don't understand. The ambience of Bangkok is now very familiar (I can feel the humidity soaking through my clothes) and the multiple plots are becoming confusing and very hard to follow. The dead guy Haskell, whose house blew up with over $3 million in fireproof suitcases: who can possibly remember what that was all about? Too much of everything.

Could you see The Hot Countries being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

No. Too much plot. The earlier books are more interesting in terms of movie material. There are so many good actors around that it is really too bad that there is no role for Cate Blanchett, who is by far the best actor of her generation.

Any additional comments?

Disappointing. I will likely buy the next book, purely out of loyalty to Tim, but they are getting less interesting, and the whole Junior Bender thing is just a bad idea. We are supposed to identify with and like a thief? Yuck.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Donna on 10-12-15

I thought it would be good

Itr was. I meeded a score card to keep all the characters. And whar a fun line up of prople. This one cost me a couple of tears as ended.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 10-22-15

Great book, great performance.

Timothy Hallinan keeps getting better and better. I've been following the story of Poke et al. since picking up the first book in the series, A Nail Through The Heart by chance, not long after it came out. I am a relatively prolific reader and since then this has become my my favourite story, and Hallinan my favourite author.
The performance is excellent as well, very engaging.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Sue on 01-15-16

Totally absorbing from the opening paragraph

What did you like most about The Hot Countries?

Timothy Hallinan is a brilliant and gifted writer. Every Poke Rafferty thriller is excellent, but for me The Hot Countries far surpassed the other books. The intricate stories intertwined with the main plot made the book a fascinating insight into Bangkok, its inhabitants and human nature.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Hot Countries?

There were so many memorable moments in this multi layered book that i would feel unjust in trying to choose one moment over another.

Which character – as performed by Victor Bevine – was your favourite?

Victor Bevine is a wonderful and talented narrator. Although Poke has to be my favourite character Victor Bevine is so good that each character has his or her own distinctive voice.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It is indeed. I spent far too much time in my car, where I do the majority of my audible listening, long after I had reached my destination. Just didn't want to interrupt the story!

Any additional comments?

I would count this book in my top ten list and hope that anyone who would enjoy an exceptional thriller will listen to The Hot Countries. I know they won't be disappointed. The writing is excellent and the narration brilliant. More Poke Rafferty, please Mr Hallinan!

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