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The Axe Factor: A Jimm Juree Novel Kindle Edition
On the gulf of Thailand, the Juree family are managing their run-down beach resort for the second year - still stalked by disaster. Daughter Jimm has a new love in her life, but finds herself pursued by another man with a markedly different agenda in mind.
Meanwhile, Jimm's new case is that of Dr. Somluk, a champion of the rights of rural mothers, who is missing following a run-in with the marketeers of infant formula.
As ever, there is blood, brine and bedlam aplenty at the Gulf Bay Lovely Resort.
"Cotterill's outstanding third Jimm Juree mystery...Despite the grimness of the violence and the corruption Juree eventually uncovers, Cotterrill keeps the tone light, aided by the conceit of starting each chapter with Thai signage, replete with malapropisms (e.g., 'Ladies are Requested not to Have Children in the Bar')."-- "Publishers Weekly (starred review)"
"Elegant and always amusing."-- "Dayton Daily News"
"In addition to a clockwork plot and an intriguing setting, what really makes this book sing is Jimm's own caustic, ribald observations. A stunner of a novel, third in the Jimm Juree series by the author of the acclaimed Dr. Siri novels."-- "Booklist (starred review)"
"Narrator Kim Mai Guest captures the eccentricities of each character and the unique dynamics of the family. The most notable elements of Guest's narration include the endearing tone she uses to portray the mother's dementia-driven statements; the biting sarcasm of Jimm's transgendered sister, who rattles off advice at lightning speed on everything from love to crime solving; and the eerily calm assurance of Jimm's new British boyfriend, who hides a sinister secret. Guest does the story's climax proud with one hair-raising scene after another as Jimm waits for the axe to fall."-- "AudioFile"
"Restless reporter teams up with veteran crime writer of questionable character to solve a series of disappearances...Creepy unattributed blog entries woven into the tale, presumably from the killer, add tension, and an impending storm raises the stakes. Jimm's third case continues her evolution from inveterate wisecracker to believably flawed and funny heroine. The result is a perfect balance between droll comedy and serious plotting."-- "Kirkus Reviews" --This text refers to the audioCD edition.
- ASIN : B00EDOBZYY
- Publisher : Quercus (7 November 2013)
- Language : English
- File size : 937 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 303 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 426,763 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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`Please leave your values at the front desk.' (country hotel)
Jimm is asked by the local paper, the Chumphon News, to interview Conrad Coralbank, a well-known crime novel writer who lives in the area and is immediately swept off her feet. Grandad Jah and the flamboyant local policeman, Lieutenant Chompu are suspicious of Coralbank, and start watching him. It seems that Conrad's wife has gone missing, as has a local doctor and Jimm becomes involved in trying to find out where they both are. In the meantime, Mair, despite being prone to seasickness, goes on a trip in the bay with Captain Kow, just as a storm starts to brew.
`Ladies are requested not to have children in the bar.' (hotel sign)
Oh, and just to add to the tension, we readers have access to anonymous diary entries that appear to be from a very descriptive, and determined, serial killer whose initials seem to be C.C. Will the reader work out who the serial killer is before anyone else is murdered? Jimm has access to some formidable resources: her (former brother, now) sister Sissi can track down almost anyone and anything online. But Jimm is just a little distracted by Conrad Coralbank, and her search for the missing doctor becomes interesting. It appears that the doctor had been protesting against the aggressive marketing of baby formula and may have trodden on some corporate toes.
`It is forbidden to enter a woman even a foreigner if dressed as a man' (Buddhist temple)
So, will Jimm find true love (or just fulfilling lust) with Conrad Coralbank? Who's the hot man Nurse Da is seeing? What is Mair doing with Captain Kow? Who has threatened Jimm with an axe, and why would someone try to poison the family's dogs?
`I had visions of mad dinosaurs queuing up at the 7-Eleven.'
This is the third in Colin Cotterill's Jimm Juree series, and while I don't (yet) like them quite as much as his Doctor Siri series, Jimm and her amazing family and friends are growing on me. I enjoyed the humour, and was drawn into the mystery.
Top reviews from other countries
I've read all of Mr Cotterill's Dr Siri series, and the 3 main books of the Jimm Juree series. Clearly, I'm a big fan of his work. However, I found the fact that he wrote himself into this novel as a central character (under the name Corralbank), and lothario who leaves Jimm - and seemingly all other Thai women - weak at the knees, made it kind of like trying to enjoy a delicious fruit salad topped with a big steaming turd.
I suppose I don't particularly have a problem with a writer writing themselves into a story, but this was genuinely nausea-inducing. It was so disgusting that I wasn't sure I could finish the book, but I did, because I love the regular characters. It feels to me that there is something especially egregious about writing yourself into a world who's characters your readers have already developed a relationship with.
The thing that really got my goat is that this not-so-subtle self-inclusion, of a Western author of mystery novels set in Laos - award-winning, he reminds us several times - is dripping with self-directed lust. Of his character, Jimm says that 'he was the kind of man you just knew would be good in bed'. There are generous physical descriptors of his muscles, his wealth, his laugh (the kind you'd want to hear again, apparently). I forced myself to continue, and the rest of the story was actually really good. Take Mr Corralbank out of the equation and I'd be rating it 5*. I just kept hoping that there was going to be some dramatic twist, that his inclusion was going to turn out to be some clever plot device. I even managed to convince myself that perhaps we'd learn that the real Mr Corralbank had hired some sexed-up version of himself to play out a story or skip on some trouble, and that the real author would be revealed to be a more human, flawed character. A friend of mine suggested that perhaps the author had lost a bet, and thinking of it that way helped me to get through it.
I can only assume /pray that Mr Cotterill was aiming to illicit some kind of disgust in his longtime readers, and that the character was supposed to play poorly. In which case, I guess we should congratulate him on a job (far too) well done. But having purchased and read and re-read every single one of his print books, upon realising what was going on, I was so genuinely nauseated and appalled that I flung the book across the room, quite unintentionally. It was a reflexive response to the narcissism. It really was just that unpleasant on a human level.
It also didn't help that *SPOILER!*
at the end of the book, when Jimm finds out that this author she's been sleeping with has in fact been sleeping with her friend too, her ultimate conclusion is that she's happy that he's been giving these other women such pleasure. I mean, REALLY?
At the end of the day, I don't think it matters too much whether this disgust was the author's intention. If you create a world and populate it with characters and then invite others to enjoy this creation (for money, don't forget), you owe it to them not to turn it into a masturbatory fantasy.
Another potential suspect is an ex-pat lothario with initials C.C. who includes Jim in his conquests. I hope that this character and the author share only their initials!
As always however it is Jims's weird family and their three dogs who are the stars of this story. It kept me smiling just about all the way through.
Jimm and her crew are back. This time they are investigating the disappearance of an anti-formula doctor, but Jimm is distracted by romance in the form of an English crime writer, Conrad Coralbank, whose books are set in Laos but dreams of writing a historical axe murder novel. Interesting.
The plot is silly, the characters are OTT and it all works. I have just spent the last few hours chortling.
Full of weird but fascinating characters (I am sure I have met some of them in Thailand) and excellent observations on, what are to farangs, the quirks, foibles and eccentricities of life in Thailand - whilst certainly not essential, I think it helps one's understanding and enjoyment of this book if one has some experience of Thailand and Thai folk.