by Lyn Hamilton
The Thai Amulet
Berkley Prime Crime, April, 2003.
Hardcover, 304 pages.
Antiques dealer and amateur sleuth Lara McClintock reluctantly agrees to help look for a missing antiques dealer while she is on he vacation to Bangkok, Thailand. William Beauchamp left his Canadian wife and disabled daughter and set up shop in Bangkok, where he was apparently doing quite well. But one day he disappeared, and he hasn't been seen since. Now his wife needs to know if he is alive, so she can divorce him, or if he's dead so that she can get life insurance money to pay for her daughter's care. Lara's boyfriend's daughter, Jennifer is also in Bangkok to visit her boyfriend, Chat, who is a member of a very wealthy Thai family, the Chaiwongs. As Lara begins to immerse herself into the foreign culture, she learns more about Beauchamp's life and becomes involved with the Chaiwong family, which has quite a few secrets. Soon she becomes immersed in dual dramas: one that occurred in the past and one that is very much in the dangerous present.
Lyn Hamilton tells a gripping story of love, power, greed and murder in this mystery which tells two stories: one set in contemporary Bangkok and one set in 16th-century Ayutthaya, the ancient capital of Thailand. The atmosphere and flavor of Thailand are vividly portrayed. From the diverse and contradictory city that is Bangkok to the northern city of Chiang Mai, to the calmness of a temple, Lyn Hamilton creates a sense of mystery and the exotic, which is the perfect background for this interesting puzzle told with heartfelt emotion.
The Thai Amulet is available for purchase on Amazon.com
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This review was published in the September-October, 2003 of The Internet Writing Journal.
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