Bangkok Tattoo

My review of John Burdett’s novel Bangkok Tattoo is on the Asian Review of Books web page.

When corrupt Thai police officer Sonchai first hears that one of his best prostitutes has been found with the mutilated corpse of a "John", he is not overly bothered. "Killing your customers just isn’t good for business," warns his Mom (who happens also to be the madam), but Sonchai’s boss Police Colonel Vikorn has a gift for coverups. The problem is that this is not your ordinary corpse, and this is no ordinary "John". The body, they learn, has been flayed. Worse yet, the body is that of CIA agent Mitch Turner. His friends are due to come around and ask questions.

(And an essay by John Burdett at


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