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Der Jadereiter (Sonchai Jitpleecheep #2)

3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,873 Ratings  ·  344 Reviews
From the author of the best seller Bangkok 8, a new novel that puts us back in the company of the inimitable Royal Thai Police detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep.

We return to District 8 - the underbelly of Bangkok's underworld - where a dramatically mutilated dead body is found. It's bad: he was CIA. It gets worse: the murderer appears to be Chanya - a tough, sweet working gir
471 pages
Published 2006 (first published 2005)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jun 16, 2007 Brendan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Who reads a novel to be hectored? Especially a detective novel. There may be a masochistic few who actually enjoy being addressed as farang (Thai for “foreigner”) and then repeatedly lectured on the colossal failure that is Western civilization. But why take it from a $24 book when the rest of the world is happy to do it for free?
John Burdett seems to have stumbled onto an excellent premise when he combines the conventions of hard-boiled crime novels with the exotic Thai locales and Buddhist philosophy in Bangkok Tattoo and, presumably, the other books in the series. Why do these elements, not a set which I would naturally connect, blend so well? Think about it this way:

• The classic crime novel main character is a weathered, capable crime-solver. He’s (I’m sticking with “he” here, don’t yell at me) a loner with old frie
Apr 09, 2008 Tomi-Ann rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
This is the second in John Burdett's series about a hard-boiled Buddhist Thai detective. These books are exciting and funny and educational. Mr. Burdett, speaking as Sanjeep, takes any opportunity to teach the reader about the foods and customs of Thailand and about Buddhist practice and philosophy. Even more challenging, for me, is that all these books take on the sex trade industry head-on. They've actually caused me to revise my myopic view that sex work is a necessary evil, and to admit to m ...more
This is really a very good book, and the best of the Sonchai Jitpleecheep mysteries I've read so far (although I read Godfather of Kathmandu first, and so didn't quite understand the backstory then -- I would definitely recommend you read them in order, and after the next one I'll probably reread Godfather).

And so I really hate to be picky, but...Burdett is so close to greatness here -- he has an excellent voice in Sonchai, he really knows Bangkok, and he's a very strong storyteller and plotte
Sep 11, 2012 Neil rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Once again I seem to be at odds with my co-reviewers; a glitch in my own system, I'm sure.
When I started this book, I hoped it would be as good as Burdett's first.
But as it progressed, I discovered that it was far more than an excellent whodunit. Burdett's insights into Buddhism and the way the discipline impacts the daily lives of the small and the great in Thai society I found little short of mesmerizing.
For that alone I shall re-read it slowly and make notes, so that I can better hold my gro
Linda Atnip
Jan 03, 2013 Linda Atnip rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read! This high octane thriller is set in the Bangkok sex trade district. The half-Thai/half-American who has never met his GI dad narrates the storyline peppering it with references to his devout Buddhism. There's a serial killer on the loose and he's taking a very unique souvenir from his vics, but the plot is really well imagined. It will keep you guessing until the last twenty pages. Highly recommended if you like spy novels or depraved mysteries.
The second in this really fun series. I think it's better edited/written than the first, and the main character's conflict between his Buddhist karma and the pressures of corruption inherent in his job are really fun/strong. Again, crazy plots that go to even crazier town. It's like a Tarantino movie, this series. But worth it. Violent and definitely has trigger issues in it for women, so be warned if you have issues in that area.
Even when I read the first one after just returning for a term teaching in Thailand, I felt it presumptuous of the author to address readers as 'farang' when he is a foreigner himself, writing as a Thai man. This rubs me the wrong way. The lecturing of the narrator, Thai detective written by a Western white man, gets to be a bit too much at times. Maybe it is because I have also spent time there that I feel annoyed at this aspect.

Originally I had no intention of reading any of these books after
Jan 08, 2014 Bianca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I see some people are upset as being referred to as 'farang', not sure why. Must be the American entitlement lol. Anyhoo, this is the first book I have read by this author. It was passed on to me by a co-worker. It was a slow read at first, but I kept reading it because I really wanted to know what happened. The book gave me a new insight into the world of prosititution. I, like the Americans the narrator refers to, always thought of prostitution and brothels in Asia to be like the documentaries ...more
Patrick McCoy
I was really looking forward to John Burdett's follow up to the entertaining Bangkok 8, Bangkok Tattoo, and while I enjoyed it, it had some serious flaws. I guess I was pretty satisfied until 3/4 of the way through, when his plots started to wear thin. This might also be where the sneering anti-west/American attitude of Sonchai Jitleecheep started to grate on me. I don't remember this condescending tone in the first novel, which seems somewhat self-hating since Sonchai is half "farang" himself, ...more
Roxanne Christensen
I really enjoyed the first book in this series. I felt like in this book the Sonchai became less appealing to me. More human then on the verge of becoming an enlightened person (this is personal preference )

I found myself lost in the Japanese aspects of it ( again my own fault ) and couldn't wait to just finish the last page so I could say I read it all.

Not as intriguing as the first book and yes I got tired of being "heckled" because I'm a farang. I live in Thailand and I already am jaded by
Lance Charnes
Aug 13, 2012 Lance Charnes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of international mysteries
This second installment in the adventures of Sonchai Jitpleecheep, half-caste former-monk-now-Thai-cop, is both more straight-ahead and weirder than Bangkok 8. It’s not quite as phantasmagoric as the first – Our Hero manages to keep his asides from straying too far afield – but it introduces even stranger creatures into the zoo that is Bangkok’s seamy side. In this case, these creatures include CIA agents with various kinks, Moslems from southern Thailand, yakuza, rogue tattoo artists, and the p ...more
Oct 12, 2010 Shawna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
for some reason i was really annoyed by this book. I enjoyed the first book, but this one disappointed me. Even more than the first book, it felt like John Burdett was speaking through the main character in a really weird, orientalist way. It's like this white dude pretending to be a thai native, preaching the glories of asia and the depravities of the west... and talking about how happy everyone is in thailand, especially the women who work in the red light district. The only problem is, he's a ...more
I started this book after I finished Bangkok 8; I am not likely to finish it. The writing is not good enough to justify all the viagra being flung about and the disdain for "farang"(this word is used at least 5 times on every page) Americans not understanding Thai food, prostitution, religion, politics, transportation, or much anything else. In fact, I'm beginning to think that these murder mysteries are more of a vehicle to show how naive and coarse Americans are. Maybe I would connect to it mo ...more
Jun 18, 2012 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sonchai Jipleecheep is at it again. When reading this book, one is not dipped, but steeped into Thailand. Detective S.J. is just as compelling as in Bangkok 8, but since this is the second book I've read in this series, I realized I missed so much in the first one. Enough to re-read it. This book is hilarious. So much dry humor that I know I missed in the other book because I was so involved with trying to understand the culture and the main character.
Aug 02, 2014 Arie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hiatus
I immediately started this book following finishing Bangkok 8, which I found just short of brilliant. I'm sure Bangkok Tattoo is great, but at this point I cannot finish reading the book at this time. The narrative style of Bangkok Tattoo, while still first person like Bangkok 8, now constantly breaches the 4th wall, and is so jarringly different from the first book I cannot right now. Yes, I will continue reading at some point, but I need some time apart from detective Sonchai.

The strangest pa
Dec 13, 2010 Margie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, series
I liked this a bit less than Bangkok 8, mostly because I got tired of being called farang (the Thai equivalent of "gringo"). Still a good story, though.
Apr 11, 2014 Christy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finished Bangkok 8 last week and loved it so much, I immediately went out and got Bangkok Tattoo. I did read the reviews on here before starting though, and was warned in advance that the whole "farang" kind of talking-down-to business was quickly tiresome, but I thought that people were probably exaggerating.

Within the first 10 pages, I completely agreed.

I kept on, however, on the strength of Bangkok 8. This second book was also really good. Not as great as the first, but still really good.
Toni Osborne
Book 2 in the Detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep mystery series

This sequel to "Bangkok 8" has all the elements necessary to take the readers on a precarious ride through the sweltering hot and sticky streets that form the flamboyant underbelly of one of Asia's most lively cities.... Bangkok.

The mystery is told in the riveting voice of detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep, a product of mixed parentage with Buddhist beliefs, a good cop by day and a papasan in the family brothel by night. The story opens w
Rob Kitchin
For me, Bangkok Tattoo was a book of two halves. The first half was interesting and entertaining, immersing the reader in the sights and sounds of the seedier side of Bangkok. The story raced along and had plenty of intrigue and twists and turns. In the second half the story unravelled and lost focus and direction. The main plotline of the first half petered out and another thread came to dominate, and the story resorted more and more to show rather than tell, and less and less plausible. The en ...more
Warren Olson
Burdett is a great wordsmith ; and taking on a 'hero' - Sonchai, who is a Thai detective is a bold step. I doubt even a Thai writer could fully understand the epistemology of a middle class Thai detective who apparently deals comfortably with those from elite superintendants to lowly bar girls. Burdett makes a fair fist of it ; but especially to those who have spent rather more time than he in outback Thailand, and perhaps understand the culture and language of the Kingdom a little better, there ...more
Apr 26, 2010 Maddy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2005-reads
PROTAGONIST: Detec. Sonchai Jitplecheep
SETTING: Thailand
SERIES: # 2 of 2

What a treat to find such an engaging group of characters in such a well-detailed setting between the pages of a book! Having missed the debut novel of the series, BANGKOK 8, I was delighted to be introduced to royal Thai police detective Sonchai Jitplecheep; his incredibly innovative boss, Police Colonel Vikorn; his mother, Nong, who is part owner of the Old Man's Club (or "house of ill repute"), the young man, L
Linda Lombardi
Feb 18, 2012 Linda Lombardi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I seem to be cursed in a peculiar way. When I was younger, whenever I read a book and liked it, I would immediately read all the other books by the same author. And I always liked them, as far as I remember, which is why I kept doing it.

Now whenever I read a book and like it and immediately read another book by the same author, it is disappointing. I don't know how this keeps happening. How am I accidentally always reading the author's best book? Does this mean that when I read a book and DON'T
Lyn Brown
Rather enjoyed it - well written, light and amusing in places. Would have given a 3.7 if there was a more sophisticated rating system available
Zenny Dahl
Jun 17, 2015 Zenny Dahl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Royal Thai police detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep is back in the second book of the series to investigate the grisly murder of a CIA operative. Wrapped up in all of this is a hooker named Chanya, a Thai army general who is feuding with Sonchai’s superior officer, Captain Vikorn, Muslim fundamentalists, the Yakuza and a Japanese tattoo artist. I enjoyed the cadence of the book and following Sonchai around Thailand.
Jan 29, 2016 James rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the third book in Burdett's Sonchai Jitplleechip series that I have read (yes, I know it's the second book in the series, but due to circumstances outside of my control, being given one as a Christmas present, it's the third one that I have read). I have also read some essays of Burdett, and there can be little doubt as to his understanding of the psychology that pervades southeast Asian society. As someone that has been living in the region for the past 12 years I feel I am in a positio ...more
Mar 22, 2016 Tekla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I found this book less satisfying than the first of the series, Bangkok 8. I did not like that the protagonist, Sonchai, addressed the reader, farang/westerner, directly with instructive observations of Thai vs. western viewpoints. This actually made Sonchai seem more western himself. And overall I could not "suspend disbelief" not of reality vs fantasy but of the fact that the book is written by a farang himself from a Thai viewpoint.

Still, I loved the words and the gritty themes of human pass
Adam Weinert
Aug 04, 2014 Adam Weinert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery
So, having finished two "Bangkok" books by John Burdett I have some more developed thoughts on them. In an effort to be brief, for it is late and I must sleep, they're numbered in no particular relation to their importance, in my opinion.

#1 Burdett's shift of narration focus between the first and second book was a little frustrating, at first. In the first book, Bangkok 8, you followed the books main character through his own experience. This is, I think, a traditional way to engage a reader in
Jared Della Rocca
I originally discovered John Burdett when his first work, Bangkok 8, appeared on a Top 15 Thrillers list. I didn't have a chance to check out the rest of his series, though, because this project intervened. So I was very pleasantly surprised when the second in the series, Bangkok Tattoo showed up on the recommended reading list! There are a couple reasons I really enjoy John Burdett's novel, using Bangkok Tattoo as my basis:

1) Fascinating use of the setting. Really interesting insights into the
Josh Fish
Mar 28, 2011 Josh Fish rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Imaginative story and a page turner. It really shows the difference between Thai and American cultures and to some extent between the East and the West.
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John Burdett is a novelist and former lawyer. He was born in England and worked in Hong Kong; he now lives in Thailand and France.
More about John Burdett...

Other Books in the Series

Sonchai Jitpleecheep (6 books)
  • Bangkok 8 (Sonchai Jitpleecheep #1)
  • Bangkok Haunts (Sonchai Jitpleecheep #3)
  • The Godfather of Kathmandu (Sonchai Jitpleecheep #4)
  • Vulture Peak (Sonchai Jitpleecheep #5)
  • The Bangkok Asset (Sonchai Jitpleecheep #6)

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“Your fear of letting go prevents you from letting go of your fear of letting go.” 19 likes
“You don't understand. I only prostitute the part of the body that isn't important, and nobody suffers except my karma a little bit. I don't do big harm. You prostitute your mind. Mind is seat of Buddha. What you do is very very bad. You should not use your mind in that way” 12 likes
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