28 Aug 2013

New Release: John Dolan Hungry Ghosts

1 Comment Book Reviews


130727 3D-Book-TemplateHungry Ghosts, the much-anticipated second book in the Time, Blood and Karma series comes out this week. It is available as a paperback or in Kindle format. Author John Dolan promises more thrills, more mystery and more Thailand as his detective, David Braddock, grapples with some new puzzles.

To celebrate the release, the first novel in the series – entitled Everyone Burns – is being offered for a limited period at 99 cents (or 77p if you’re in the UK).


My Review:

“Hungry Ghosts” by John Dolan is the second in the David Braddock series about the private investigator operating on the Thai island of Samui.
The womanizing man with a weakness for drinks and a talent for finding his way through the corrupt world around him confides in his diary. Full of self deprivation, honesty and great sense of humour the diary however also serves a different purpose: Through this perspective the reader is allowed some deeper insights into his mind and gets a glimpse of someone actually caring more than he lets on.


Although a recent wave of burning murders has ended, Braddock has his hands full with mostly slightly unusual missions for a private detective. And then there is the matter of his complicated love life. Since losing his wife there have been several affairs but nothing with lasting prospects. Quite the opposite, his love life adds more complications to his life than should be worth it.


It is credit to Dolan’s great talent for characterisation that Braddock and the women around him become more than mere stereotypes in a genre that otherwise so loves them. They manage to remain fun and great assets to the plot, but there is some serious note to them that to this reader is most welcome and that does not distract much from the mystery plot and the suspense at all.


With great knowledge of local customs, culture and philosophy from his own travelling life Dolan gives an authentic flair of Asia in his writing and also adds a subtle moral or ethical undertone. The opening scene features a man being followed by the ghost of his recently deceased brother and the prologue alerts us to the many differing incarnations of ‘Hungry Ghosts’ in various Asian cultures.
The characters in Hungry Ghosts are almost all haunted by their own metaphorical ghosts, which adds colour to the story.


On a more simple and straight forward note the story is a cleverly written and very entertaining murder mystery with great understated humour and enough added elements to distinguish itself from the more generic and one dimensional helpings in the genre.


A most enjoyable read.

For my review of Everyone Burns and an interview with John follow this link



 Everyone Burns Amazon US http://ow.ly/okzD1 

Everyone Burns Amazon UK http://ow.ly/okzDT

Hungry Ghosts Amazon US http://ow.ly/okzEu

Hungry Ghosts Amazon UK http://ow.ly/okzF2



28 Jul 2013

“Everyone Burns” by John Dolan

1 Comment Book Reviews



Everyone Burns by John Dolan

It is January 2005 and the charred remains of two Europeans have been discovered on the Thai island of Samui.

Local Police Chief Charoenkul, sidelined by his superiors, enlists the reluctant David Braddock, a burnt-out private detective, to assist in an ‘unofficial’ investigation.

But Braddock has problems of his own, including an affair with the same Police Chief’s wife …

Peppered with irreverent humour and some pithy comments on everyday life in the Land of Smiles, ‘Everyone Burns’ is much more than a crime novel. It is also a carefully-crafted psychological study of an anti-hero for our time

My review:

“Everyone Burns” by John Dolan was recommended to me by several friends.
The story is about a British Private Investigator and counsellor David Braddock who lives in Thailand to make his money stretch further. Braddock is a very interesting, washed out and overall really great character whom to follow is hugely entertaining. Although he has marital problems and a lot of depth there is a dubious and not so serious side to him.
Braddock gets asked by the police to assist in the investigation of a series of murders. At the same time he is being sent anonymous notes, suggesting blackmail, pointing at his affair with the wife of a colleague.
I can picture a film made from this book and I would ideally cast a Humphrey Bogard in B&W in it but fans of the genre will probably have better suggestions.
What I liked most about the book is Dolan’s writing. He is clever, perceptive and very witty. Each chapter has literary or philosophical quotations as headings and they are apt to the chapters as they bear witness to a very well read and educated writer, almost “wasted” in a crime story. I am certain that I missed lots of great references and in-jokes that pay tribute to Sherlock Holmes and other famous crime fiction but I really enjoyed the book even without catching all of them.
This book should do very well.


For an interview please go to my blog







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