How can a story break and warm your heart at the same time? Set in post-tsunami Thailan, Hallinan’s first of a series does just that. Travel writer Poke Rafferty is settling in there with his girlfriend Rose, an ex-bar girl, and an 8-year old girl he found on the streets, Miaow. But while he’s dealing with all this he tries to help a young woman find her missing uncle who turns out to be the king of child-porn sleaze and also gets involved with a 0ld, deranged Khmer Rouge torturer. Meanwhile, Miaow’s friend, a very troubled boy named Superman, is in desperate need of a place to stay, but this boy brings his own kind of trouble.
Combining these tales results in a unique juxtaposition of horrendous grit and heart-warming fuzzies. Be warned that this book is gritty – but it also develops the ideas of warm supportive relationships with damaged people. Hallinan obviously has a deep regard for the Thai people and their Buddhism.
Bevine did an excellent job on the narration.