King Rat (gkr) wrote,
King Rat

Smoking Poppy, Graham Joyce

Smoking Poppy
Graham Joyce
Best Price $1.12
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First mainstream fiction I've read in a while. Manda lent it to me. In return she gets to borrow my Orson Card book Crystal City which I've been remiss in getting to her. Anyhow, been a bit since I've read regular modern fiction. I tend mostly to read genre fiction of one sort or another, simply because mainstream is so varied that I'll forever have a hard time judging books no matter how much of it I read. Oh, I'll know a few authors and pull them off the shelf with regularity. But in genre fiction I know the form, and can more easily judge ahead of time whether there's a chance I'll like something. This by looking at the cover, the publisher, the blurbs, excerpts, and the first few pages.

Enough of my soliloquoy. I probably mispelled that. I liked this book. It's the story of Daniel Innes, who travels to Thailand to see his daughter Charlie after he's notified that she's been imprisoned for drug crimes. Knowing how drug crimes are punished in South-East Asia when prosecuted, he travels there quickly with his best drinking bud Mick (who won't let him go alone) and his son Phil, a hard-core Christian. In Thailand, he discovers another young woman has usurped his daughter's identity, leaving her behind in the jungle. So there he treks to find her.

He finds Charlie in a jungle village run by an opium gang lord. He's not holding her hostage. In fact, he'd rather she left. Still, he's not the nicest guy in the world. Charlie believes evil spirits have her trapped in her hut. Daniel must convince the drug lord, the villagers (who don't even speak Thai), and the drug gang to help him. And he has to keep from killing his son Phil who irritates the hell out of him with his constant praying and references to the Bible.

So yeah, good story. Good characters. Only nit I have is the standard controlling father/rebellious children theme. No one in the story is presented as the evil bad guys. They all are to some degree human.

Tags: books

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