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Book Review

Book Review: by Lang Reid

Live Fire

Stephen Leather has just released in the UK another Dan (Spider) Shepherd thriller, called Live Fire (ISBN 978-0-340-92174-6, Hodder and Stoughton, 2009).
In his usual way, Stephen Leather writes in a world which consists of religious extremists, bank robbers and assorted society misfits. What is even more pertinent to the expat reader is that much of the book is set in Pattaya, and the seedier side of it.
It begins in London with a group of young Muslims who had fled their own countries for the chance of a better life in the UK. Leather, the sociologist, describing their plight. “They had quickly discovered they were not welcomed by the majority of the population. They were hated because they were a different color, because they spoke a different language and wore different clothes, but mostly they were hated because they refused to integrate.”
His description of Pattaya and its ex-pats could be just a little OTT. “We’ve got your run-of-the-mill Brit crims rubbing shoulders with the Russian Mafia. The Nigerians are there, you’ve got Serbian conmen, Albanian Mafia, motorcycle gangs, Burmese drug-dealers - pretty much any criminal gang you can think of is represented. If you want drugs, fake passports, guns, counterfeit money, someone in Pattaya will sell them to you.”
However, it’s a great yarn which will hold your attention. It has just been released in Thailand, as well as in the UK, so rush in now as initial stocks are limited. At B. 595, well worth it.
Confessions of a Serial Letter-Writer
A couple of weeks ago I reviewed John Arnone’s latest book, “Confessions of a Serial Letter-Writer” and I took him to task as he had decided that my review of his previous book was in The Nation newspaper, and their reviewer, James Eckardt, was writing for the Pattaya Mail. However, continuing in his passion for writing to newspapers, I received the following:
“Dear Lang;
I want to apologize for the blunder on the back page of my book; Confessions of a Serial Letter-Writer. I caught the error quite by accident after it had already gone out. Of course it will be corrected on the next print order, if there is one. The original print order was not that big, so only a few people will know what a boob I am.
It is strange that for all of the editing and proofing we (myself and the editor), both missed the blunder, but you will have to admit that even the newspapers make occasional mistakes.
As to the content of the review, I can only surmise that everyone sees things differently. That is what makes the world go round.
I still thank you for the review because as you know, any review is a good review.
Thanks again Lang and once again, sorry for the oversight.
John Arnone”
John, you should be aware by now that contrary to your statement, “so only a few people will know what a boob I am” doesn’t hold true when you write to the newspapers! But never mind, remember the media motto “News today, chip wrappers tomorrow”.
Best wishes,
Lang Reid