One year after moving to a small village on the Gulf of Siam, Jimm Juree is still trying to adjust to her new boring and slow life. If giving up her crime reporter job was hard, running Lovely Bay Gulf Resort and Restaurant is proving even more frustrating. The place is in shambles and there are hardly any customers. When she hears about a buried car with dead bodies in it, Jimm is delighted to get her hands finally on something that smells of crime.
April has been a good month. I read three books – The Help, Lexicon and The Resistance Man, all of them top notch. When I was thinking it could not get better than this, comes along Jimm Juree. I have been reading about Cotterill’s Dr. Siri books for a while now but decided to start with his new series to test the waters. And Jimm just swept me off my feet. You cannot meet a quirkier family than this. A sometimes off kilter mother with her “Titanic” smile, capable of taking life changing decisions in a split second and yet remain unperturbed, A transsexual “Beauty Queen” elder sister that dabbles in the dark art of hacking, a sentimental yet “Hulk” of a younger brother and a retired traffic constable grand dad who barely speaks. The family moves to south Thailand due to one such inspired decision by their mother. Jimm has to give up on her “almost award winning” crime reporting career and move along with her family to the god forsaken fishing village on the Gulf of Siam where nothing happens. After unsuccessfully trying to run an equally god forsaken small resort for nine months, Jimm is delighted when she hears about a buried Volkswagen Kombi with two dead bodies in it. There is a grisly murder of an abbot in a nearby temple on the heels of this discovery.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Mind you, the characters may look caricatures but Cotterill makes them utterly believable. He even throws in a gay cop. Jimm is witty, sharp, has a dark edge to her tongue and critical of Thailand’s corruption at every level. Packed with sarcastic humour, Jimm shows us two different Thailands – one full of corrupt and inept people and another of serene, down to earth people with lot of common sense. Even though light on mystery, it is a complete whodunit. I thought I have guessed the killer but I was off the mark completely.
The book will make you smile a lot. The quotes by “Dubya” Bush at the beginning of each chapter are hilarious, Jimm’s way to show us that a ‘sincere countenance and a confident stance were sufficient to distract your audience from the fact that you were talking rubbish’, something that she employs often herself.
I am going for Cotterill’s Dr. Siri Paiboun series for sure. Three of his books are already waiting on my shelf.
Thank you for reading. I appreciate your time.
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