Bangkok Cowboy Book Review


Bangkok Cowboy is a newly released crime thriller written by Ron McMillan, author of the widely acclaimed paperback Yin Yang Tattoo. McMillan’s latest offering delves deep into the dark underbelly of Bangkok’s sex industry and the steamy and seamy undesirables who lurk there. It’s a fast-moving, action-packed thriller with a clever and well pieced together plot.

The Asia Times Online described yin Yang Tattoo as ‘A violent, sex-and-alcohol-soaked romp through South Korea’ – the book has a 5-Star rating on Amazon – Bangkok Cowboy is violent in places, but never detailed enough to have you glancing nervously over one shoulder. The sex side of the book stays out of the bedroom but burrows deep into the bowels of Bangkok’s seedy sex scene and beyond. A romp it is, and a well-written one as well.

bangkok-cowboy-ron-mcmillan‘Two days after private eye Mason sees a drunken Australian kicked to death in Bangkok’s notorious Soi Cowboy, he is approached by one of the men involved. Mobster Raymond Long owns nightclubs on the seedy sex strip and wants Mason to find his American accountant, who has disappeared, taking with her a computer hard drive. Mason is about to turn him down when he realises the missing accountant is his friend Nathalie West.’

British Army war veteran Mason has left behind bitter memories of combat in Afghanistan and a failed UK marriage to settle in Bangkok as a private investigator. Dixie is Mason’s gorgeous, transgender sidekick and the pair set about finding both Nathalie and the missing hard drive among the kind of Bangkok gangland turf that might force Batman to fight Robin for their last diazepam.

Mason and Dixie are Bangkok’s modern-day Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, a perfect but odd partnership. Watson’s physician’s bag is replaced with an iPhone and the horse-drawn carriage with a yellow and green cab. The action is fast-paced with the type of twists and turns every good crime thriller deserves. The couple’s intuitive relationship throughout the book is a strong bond which suggests future Mason and Dixie crime thrillers are surely afoot.

McMillan’s knowledge of Thailand’s culture, customs and everyday practices is evident in the book’s sporadic ventures into Bangkok’s plain sticky rice city life. The accounts of simple downtown noodle restaurants – wobbly plastic chairs and all – to back street taxi rides suggest the author has viewed the Big Mango at street level and not from the fifteenth floor of a five-star luxury hotel.

The book has a real Thailand street life feel to it and readers may find the surreal smell of stir-fried garlic, basil and chilli wafting their way – McMillan’s eye for detail and authenticity draws you ever closer to the action. My only surprise is that Bangkok Cowboy is not available in paperback, only via Amazon Kindle. However, that possibly reflects the handheld tablet’s rising market dominance over traditional recycled wood tree print.

I highly recommend Bangkok Cowboy as an excellent value-for-money read, ideal for the poolside, long haul flight or just plain lazing it on the sofa or bed. To buy or view more details, click on the link – Bangkok Cowboy by Ron McMillan.

Bangkok Cowboy – ‘A fast-paced, punchy crime thriller stir-fried in a Bangkok street stall wok.’

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I'm a sixty-year-old Englishman living in the town of Swindon in rural Wiltshire and I have a real deep desire to retire in Thailand one day. If you don't have a dream then you won't have a dream come true.

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