cover image For the Dead

For the Dead

Timothy Hallinan. Soho Crime, $25 (352p) ISBN 978-1-61695-114-6

In Hallinan’s engaging sixth thriller set in Bangkok and featuring American journalist Poke Rafferty (after 2012’s The Fear Artist), Rafferty’s adopted 13-year-old daughter, Miaow, and her 13-year-old boyfriend, Andrew Nguyen, purchase a used iPhone on which they find photos of police officers recently killed in an execution-style slaying. An ex-cop who had previously been indicted in a police-run murder-for-hire ring also appears in the photos. When shadowy assailants threaten Miaow, Rafferty reconciles with an estranged friend, the Bangkok police detective Arthit, in an attempt to bring down those behind both the killings and the assassination ring. Hallinan’s overly elaborate and indirect narrative style, along with his tendency to reveal information that his characters already possess only partially, slows the story to a glacial pace at times, but the author’s sympathetic and compelling characterization of Miaow and Andrew, as well as several street kids, makes for a harrowing, satisfying conclusion. Agent: Bob Mecoy, Bob Mecoy Literary. (Nov.)