Poor Boy

R. F. Brissenden, Author St. Martin's Press $15.95 (254p) ISBN 978-0-312-01808-5
Aussie foreign correspondent Tom Caxton lands in Bangkok in time to see a couple roughly pulled off a departing plane by a Thai policeman. Caxton snaps some photos, and Carmody, a suave Bangkok resident, helps get the film through customs. Later, Caxton and Carmody are attacked, and the photos are stolen. Caxton has further trouble getting to his old Vietnam mate Robertson; when they finally meet, he learns that Robbie needs a large sum to bribe his Thai wife and son out of Thailand. When Robbie is killed, Caxton sets out to help his young widow, Dau. Eventually, Caxton uncovers a huge drug operation with unlikely principals in the American Mafia, the Sydney police and the top echelons of Australian business and politics. There's some suspense here but not much urgency as Caxton connects the threads of the plot and falls, rather unconvincingly, in love with Dau. The Bangkok color is very well rendered, however, and the ending hints at a sequel to this first novel by Australian poet Brissenden. (May)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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