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
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:
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
Thanks again Lang and once again, sorry for the oversight.
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