Behind the Night Bazaar by Angela Savage
Text Publishing, 2012
Jayne Keeney book 1
When I last wrote, I was left a little cold by the gender problem in Havana Blue, so I decided to read something written by a woman that, I would hope, be a lot less sexist than my previous read. I was not disappointed in the least.
Behind the Night Bazaar tackles tough subject matter, including most prominently the sexual exploitation of children, but it’s a nuanced and smart portrayal of what does and doesn’t work on a national and international level to eradicate it. The main character is Jayne Keeney, an Australian who has lived in Thailand for a number of years and works as a private investigator after a stint teaching English in Bangkok. This particular investigation takes place in northern Thailand, and it starts with the murder of her Canadian friend’s lover.
Keeney is a well-rounded, smart but not perfect, ass-kicking heroine, and she owes a lot to Sara Paretsky’s V.I. Warshawski, whom Savage name-checks in the book. It’s refreshing to read a newer PI novel because I got back into crime fiction in the late 1990’s by devouring lots of Paretsky and Grafton novels. This is one of my favorite disoveries of my attempt to finish up the 2013 Global Reading Challenge.
I bought my copy of the book.
I discovered the Jayne Keeney series via Confessions of a Mystery Novelist, EuroCrime, and a strong recommendation from reader Kathy D. Thanks!
11 thoughts on “Behind the Night Bazaar by Angela Savage”
Rebecca – First, thanks very much for the kind mention. I appreciate it. And I am so glad that you enjoyed this novel. It’s a terrific series, and I hope you’ll enjoy the other books in it.
You’re very welcome, Margot! I’m looking forward to the next two books.
Great review. Just enough information. I plan to read this next year, and also reread some of the early V.I. Warshawski novels.
Thanks, Tracy. Sometimes my reviews are brief because I didn’t like the book, but in this case it’s because I didn’t want to give too much away. I look forward to your review in 2014!
This is the second positive review of this I’ve read on a blog today – clearly a sign that it must be read soon!
I really enjoyed it, Claire. It’s popped up in my blog reader lately too, and it might be because of the Global Reading Challenge. Time is running out, and it’s hard finding crime novels set in Asia.
Rebecca, I’ve only skimmed this as I’m hoping to get it read in 2014. Nice to know it’s something to look forward to though.
Hope you like it, Col. How is your no-book-buying resolution going?
Rebecca, hmm……I’m trying and have reigned things back tp a degree, but I haven’t stopped adding totally…..maybe a bit more resolve will be shown in 2014!
Thanks for the mention. I did like this book, and like the three written so far. I do compare Jayne Keeney with V.I. Warshawski, the boldness, feistiness, the “I’ll try anything” attitude to get to the real story and the culprits, even if she puts herself in danger.
This book while told in a somewhat light-hearted manner with humor does tackle some very tough issues. It made me want to throw the book against the wall at times, not because it wasn’t good, but because the crimes being written about are so appalling and inhumane.
Protecting children should be at the heart of every society and criminal justice system. They are the most vulnerable people in society.
There are some truisms here about what can happen in very poor countries, and how deeply rooted problems and inequities have to be solved in order to put an end to this outrage.
The book made me think about issues that I usually do not contemplate, and it made me aware of the deep-rooted changes that must happen to save children and others.
You’re welcome, and thanks for bringing up the heartbreaking social problems this book addresses. It’s not light reading, but it’s important, and I don’t always expect that from a crime novel.