I have to admit being a little put off at first by the title of this book. It seemed to lack any subtlety but actually sums up the book perfectly (as does “The Quiet American on cocaine”). This is a gritty, sweaty noir thriller set in the middle of tumultuous Cambodia. Meticulously plotted Seeley slowly creates a web of deceit and corruption than ensnares nearly everyone involved, including the reader.
Will Keller is a photojournalist who is trying to forget but is haunted by the images he captures for a living. He has settled in Phenom Penh where he has found solace in the maze of corruption, drugs and violence. He spends his days snapping photos for whomever is paying; newsworthy or not so newsworthy. Whichever job gets him his next drink or his next fix. When he is asked to look into the disappearance of a young women, June Saito, an intern at the newspaper he occasionally works for, he knows it is going to be trouble. But with trouble comes money and drugs and Will just can’t help himself.
Will becomes obsessed with a series of journals June has left behind. It seems June has come to Cambodia for the same reasons Will had, to lose herself. But the closer Will comes to discovering who June was the more he begins to doubt whether he should actually find where she is. But by then it may all be too late.
This is a cracking crime debut that infects you from its opening pages and keeps going at feverish pace. Seeley alternates between Will’s story and June’s journals, sucking you into both sides of the story. Cambodia sweats through the pages in combination with Will’s predilections. This is crime noir at its finest by an exceptional new talent. I can’t wait to see where Nick Seeley goes next.
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Classification: Fiction & related items » Thriller / suspense
Imprint: Simon & Schuster Australia
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia
Publish Date: 1-Apr-2016
Country of Publication: Australia