Bangkok 8 by John BurdettRead about the other entries on the list.
The first entry in an ongoing series, Bangkok 8 captures the steamy sensuality of Thailand’s capital with empathy and heart. Thai police detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep, a devout Buddhist and son of a local bar girl and a long-gone American soldier, is assigned to protect an African-American marine, who is soon found dead of snake bites inside a locked Mercedes Benz. Sonchai’s investigation takes him careening through all levels of society. The novel is a great dense stew of a story—at various times surreal, tongue-in-cheek, and piercingly honest—a description that could neatly sum up Bangkok itself.