cover image A Good Death

A Good Death

Christopher R. Cox. Minotaur, $24.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-01231-9

Those fond of exotic foreign locales will welcome journalist Cox’s mystery debut, set in Southeast Asia. At the behest of an insurance company, fledgling Boston PI Sebastian Damon travels to Bangkok, Thailand, to verify the death of policy holder Linda Watts, but his real assignment is to prove that Watts, a Laotian refugee who became a successful banker in the U.S. and recently changed her beneficiary from her fiancé to her uncle in Providence, R.I., is still alive. While alien customs and police corruption present obstacles, Damon manages to connect with a helpful American ex-pat, Sam Honeyman, who served with his army vet father in Vietnam. Damon and Honeyman’s quest for the truth about Watts eventually takes them into the jungles of Laos, where unexploded American bombs from the Vietnam War are as dangerous as mountain tribesmen. Vivid descriptive prose helps compensate for the loose plot and sketchy characters. Agent: Tom Wallace, Wallace Literary. (Feb.)