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.