This is the first instalment in Colin Cotterill's new series about the `almost award-winning' female crime reporter Jimm Juree. The novel is set in southern Thailand.
Jimm and her relatives move from northern Thailand to the south to run the Gulf Bay Lovely Resort and Restaurant. There's Jimm, her mother Mair, her bodybuilding brother Arny and her Grandad Jah. Her sister, Sissi, who used to be her older brother Somkiet, stays in the north. Jimm isn't at all keen on living in the south, and when she hears of the discovery of a buried Volkswagen Kombi -complete with two skeletal passengers (one of whom is wearing a hat) - Jimm is off to the scene on a bicycle. Marching up to the police, she announces: `Officers, my name is Jimm Juree, deputy crime editor at the Chiang Mai Mail (I deliberately omitted tense) and I'm here to report on this case.'
One official invites her to lunch, which she accepts, and another, Lieutenant Chompu befriends her. `Lieutenant Chompu really was a policeman. You couldn't let those minute traces of nail polish fool you. He knew his job.'
Soon after, a monk is murdered in the nearby town of Lang Suan.
Jimm's out of the way location, which she was convinced would see the end of her career as a crime writer, is suddenly a very busy place.
Each chapter features a George W Bush malapropism, and some way into the story we learn that Jimm undertook a course at University called `Public Oration and Oral Improvisation' (Pooi for short), and studied the speaking style of President George W Bush. One particular malapropism becomes relevant to the story:
`Free societies are hopeful societies. And free societies will be allies against these hateful few who have no conscience, who kill at the whim of a hat.' (George W Bush 17/9/2004)
Because there is so much information contained in the opening chapters of the novel, it takes a little while for the story to progress. But progress it does, with the kind of wit that will be familiar to those of us who enjoyed the Dr Siri series. There are a number of twists and turns, and hats are important.
Jimm is an interesting character, and her family is full of surprises. So is the local police force. Between them, they manage to solve one mystery and work out the most likely explanation for the other.
I'm looking forward to the next book in this series. Jimm Juree isn't Dr Siri, and Thailand as depicted by Mr Cotterill is largely free from the political undertones of the stories set in Laos. But that's okay: change can be good.
- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 1058 KB
- Print Length: 385 pages
- Publisher: Quercus; UK ed. edition (3 March 2011)
- Sold by: Hachette Book Group (AU)
- Language: English
- ASIN: B004SB09NK
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Customer Reviews: 131 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #108,353 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)