GREAT READS

FICTION SET IN THAILAND

Christopher G Moore, prolific Canadian-born Bangkok-resident author.

Land of Smiles Trilogy, a "behind the smiles" study of Bangkok expats and the bar scene.

  • A Killing Smile (1991)
  • A Bewitching Smile (1992)
  • A Haunting Smile (1993)

Vincent Calvino PI Series, a private detective in Bangkok

  • Paying Jack Back
  • Asia Hand
  • Spirit House
  • The Big Weird
  • Cut Out
  • Comfort Zone
  • Cold Hit
  • Minor Wife
  • Pattaya 24/7
  • The Corruptionist
  • The Risk of Infidelity Index
  • 9 Gold Bullets

Other works by Christopher G. Moore:

  • God of Darkness, about an expat working in the telecommunications industry, his Thai girlfriend and her hi-so family
  • Gambling on Magic, a thriller set in Bangkok where an expat is caught up in a web of deception and betrayal
  • Chairs, a collection of 16 short stories

John Burdett's series of thrillers, starring mystical Thai police detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep

  • Bangkok 8
  • Bangkok Tattoo
  • Bangkok Haunts
  • The Godfather of Kathmandu
  • Vulture Peak
  • The Bangkok Asset (the latest Sonchai Jitpleecheep thriller, published in August 2015)

Stephen Leather, bestselling English author

  • Private Dancer, a compelling story of an English travel writer's relationship with a Bangkok bargirl, a must-read for anyone considering getting involved in the bar scene in Bangkok and Pattaya
  • Bangkok Bob & The Missing Mormon

Colin Piprell

  • Kicking Dogs

Rob Masters

  • Innocence Lost Paradise Found

Dean Barrett, numerous works including

  • Kingdom of Make-believe: A Novel of Thailand
  • Memoirs of a Bangkok Warrior
  • Skytrain to Murder, introducing Bangkok based Scott Sterling, ex-CIA operative turned part-time detective and dive instructor.
  • Permanent Damage, sequel to Skytrain to Murder

Mike Fook

  • Thailand's Sickest
  • Thailand's Sickest - Hell To Pay

 William Peskett

  • Short stories set in Thailand with a host of intriguing plots and characters:

  • Mango and Sticky Rice
  • Mist on the Jungle
  • Sweet Song of the Siren
  • The Day of the Tiger

    Jake Needham

    • The Big Mango (Eddie Dare)
    • Laundry Man (aka Tea Money) (Jack Shepherd 1)
    • Killing Plato (Jack Shepherd) (Jack Shepherd 2)
    • A World of Trouble (Jack Shepherd 3)
    • The King of Macau (Jack Shepherd 4)
    • The Ambassador's Wife (Inspector Samuel Tay 1)
    • The Umbrella Man (Inspector Samuel Tay 2)
    • The Dead American (Inspector Samuel Tay 3)
    • The Girl in the Window (Inspector Samuel Tay 4)

    James A. Newman

    • Bangkok Express (Joe Dylan Crime Noir series)
    • Red Night Zone (Joe Dylan Crime Noir series)
    • The White Flamingo (Joe Dylan Crime Noir series)
    • The Black Rose (Joe Dylan Crime Noir series)

    Simon Royle

    • Bangkok Burn, an action-packed thriller set in Bangkok during the civil strife in 2010. While red shirt protesters battle Thai troops on the streets of downtown Bangkok and the city literally burns, the farang scion of a Thai crime family tries to unravel a dizzying web of plots and counter-plots.

    David Thompson

    • Farang

    Andrew Hicks

    • Thai Girl, the story of an unrequited love affair between a young English backpacker and a massage girl on Koh Samet

    J.F. Gump

    Tropical Heat Trilogy, about American expats and their Thai relationships in the Pattaya bar scene

    • Even Thai Girls Cry (aka Siam Nights)
    • The Farang Affair (aka Cold Rain)
    • One High Season (aka Tears for the Thai Girl)

    David Young

    • Fast Eddie's Lucky 7 A Go Go, set in Chiang Mai

    Sudassa Onkom

    • Fruit of Karma, English translation of a classic work of Thai Buddhist literature, a novelization of the life and teachings of Luang Por Jaran

    Timothy Hallinan

    Poke Rafferty thrillers

    • The Queen of Patpong
    • A Nail Through the Heart
    • Breathing Water
    • Fourth Watcher

    Colin Cotterill

    • Killed at the Whim of a Hat, start of a new series starring Jimm Juree, a former crime reporter for the Chiang Mai Daily Mail who ends up in Maprao in southern Thailand. (Cotterill is a cult favourite with his Dr. Siri mysteries set in Laos in the 1970s.)

    S.P. Somtow, Thai-American classical musical composer and award-winning author

    • Jasmine Nights, an unconventional coming-of-age story set in Bangkok in the 1960s
    • The Other City of Angels

    Jerry Hopkins

    • Bangkok Babylon, a longtime expatriate, Hopkins profiles twenty-five of the city's most unforgettable characters.

    R.D. Lawrence

    • Pole Dancer, Just like thousands of other country girls in the Land of Smiles, Joy ekes out a living in the world of Bangkok's nightlife. But then, out of the blue, she finds her prayers are being answered.

    Rattawut Lapcharoensap

    • Sightseeing, a beautifully-written, award-winning collection of short stories of Thai family bonds, youthful romance, generational conflicts and cultural shiftings. Young author was born in Chicago, raised in Bangkok, and now lives in New York.

    Guy Lilburne

    • The Thai Dragon, Packed off to Phuket just ahead of retirement, alcoholic Detective Sgt Danny O’Brien explores the cultural differences between himself and his Thai partner, the beautiful Detective Ying.
    • The Kiss of the Dragon, Now retired but still drinking heavily, Danny O'Brien returns to Thailand, this time to the north.
    • Cocktails & Dreams, Just as O’Brien starts to settle down to a happy married life in Isaan in the northeast of Thailand, a serial killer starts terrorizing the holiday island of Phuket. He gets on the case.
    • The Flower Girl, An ordinary English man goes on holiday in Phuket but his dream turns into a nightmare when love turns into murder.
    • Snatched, Danny O'Brien is persuaded by the British Prime Minister, and £1 million,  to find a Very Important Person whose kidnap in Southeast Asia threatens to impact on current world affairs and change the very course of history.

     Kampoon Boontawee, Thai author from rural Isan

    • A Child of the Northeast, An engaging story of a child growing up in a farming village in the early 20th century.

    Matt Carrell

    • Vortex, offers an authentic insight into Thai culture and the intricacies of investment banking, an industry that has a profound influence on the world economy. The future of  two men is inextricably linked, when the Thai underworld targets a major financial institution.
    • Vortex... the Endgame - the sequel to Vortex
    • Thai Kiss, follows the lead characters' attempts to escape their respective pasts and make a success of their lives in Pattaya but the ruthless Thai underworld begins to encroach.
    • Also Thai Lottery... and Other Stories from Pattaya Thailand.

     

    NON-FICTION ABOUT THAILAND

     

    United States Library of Congress

    • Country Study, Thailand (pdf or html).  Not "brand new", but valuable "encapsulated background" on Thailand's history, culture, institutions, etc.

    Wikivoyage Travel Guides

    •  Examples of Web-based essential background - which can help strengthen one's researching of TA reviews and forums
    •  For example:Thailand
    •  For example: Bangkok
    •  For example: Chiang Mai
    •  For example: Phuket

    Official Travel Advisories on Thailand

    Lawrence Osborne 

    • Bangkok Days

    Kevin Cummings 

    • Bangkok Beat

    William Peskett

    • Two books about like in Pattaya:
    • If You Can't Stand The Fun, Stay Out Of The Go-Go
    • Return To The Go-Go

    Warren Fellow

    • Twelve Years of Hell in a Bangkok prison

    Sandra Gregory

    • Forget You Had a Daughter: Doing Time in the Bangkok Hilton

    David McMillan

    • Escape

    Jon Cole

    • Bangkok Hard Time, The surreal true story of how a Western teenager came of age in 1960s Bangkok, turned international drug smuggler and walked the prison yards of Thailand’s notorious “Bangkok Hilton”

    Bua Boonmee

    • Miss Bangkok, a vivid, powerful and moving memoir of a life spent in prostitution in Thailand.

    Robert Cooper & Nathapa Cooper

    • Culture Shock Thailand, A Survival Guide to Custom and Etiquette. If you don’t wish to feel like a stranger in a strange, strange land, this book will prepare you for tips on how to avoid making any mistakes of customs or etiquette.

    Chris Baker & Pasuk Phongpaichit

    • A History of Thailand covers the last several centuries of Thailand's colorful history, including its colonial era struggles, the role it played in the Cold War and its transformation into a modern industrial nation.

    James O'Reilly

    • Travellers Tales Thailand, What are the best times to go, where are the best sites and how can you make the trip better? True travellers tales to help you plan your trip!

    Jerry Hopkins

    • Thailand Confidential, A humorous, yet still helpful guide to either living in or visiting Thailand, Jerry does his witty best to dismantle the sometimes unfathomable secrets behind life in the "Land of Smiles." 

    Panurat Poladitmontr

    • Thailand: The Beautiful Cookbook, The chef-owner of the Lemon Grass Grill Restaurant in Seattle presents authentic recipes from each of the four regions of Thailand.

    Guy Lilburne

    • My Thai Story, The author recounts his decision to leave his well-paid job as a policeman in England to follow his dream to Thailand. The story explores the difficulties facing Farang/Thai relationships and embracing culture away from the bars, beaches and bright lights of Phuket and Pattaya.

    Phra Peter Pannapadipo

    • Phra Farang, A successful London businessman becomes a Buddhist monk in Bangkok.
    • Little Angels, Real-life stories of novice monks.

    Richard West

    • Thailand: The Last Domino, Cultural and political travels in and around Thailand.

     Philip Cornwell-Smith

    •  Very Thai, fun articles and great photos about many everyday things you will encounter in Thailand.

      Carol Stratton

    • What's What in a Wat, Thai Buddhist Temples, A very basic introduction to Thai Buddhist temples. 

     Steve Van Beek

    •  The Arts of Thailand, A solid, well-illustrated book about Thai arts.
    •  Slithering South, The author paddled the length of the Chao Phraya River.