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The Queen of Patpong: A Poke Rafferty Thriller | [Timothy Hallinan]

The Queen of Patpong: A Poke Rafferty Thriller

American travel writer Poke Rafferty has seen - and survived - some of the worst Bangkok has to offer. But now, finally married to his longtime love, Rose, and raising the young daughter, Miaow, they adopted from the streets, Poke believes his life is stable at last. Then a nightmare figure from Rose's time as a Patpong dancer barges into their world, threatening their peace, their love, their home, their lives.
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Publisher's Summary

American travel writer Poke Rafferty has seen - and survived - some of the worst Bangkok has to offer. But now, finally married to his longtime love, Rose, and raising the young daughter, Miaow, they adopted from the streets, Poke believes his life is stable at last. Then a nightmare figure from Rose's time as a Patpong dancer barges into their world, threatening their peace, their love, their home, their lives.

Suddenly, Poke's only recourse is to uncover the whole truth of Rose's past to follow the dark and twisting journey that turned a shy, awkward village teenager into the queen of Asia's most lurid red-light district: Patpong Road. But the secrets that await him may be almost impossible for Poke to accept - and even harder to survive.

©2010 Timothy Hallinan (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

The Queen of Patpong is a terrific page-turner, and the surprising denouement will thrill readers who want the good guys—or girls—to win in the end.” (Booklist)

“Hallinan takes his Poke Rafferty series to the next level with this taut, offbeat and fast-moving thriller.... Sometimes funny, always engrossing, and undeniably authentic” (Kirkus Reviews)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (153 )
5 star
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4.0 (128 )
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2 star
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Story
4.1 (124 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    David Houston, TX, United States 04-21-12
    David Houston, TX, United States 04-21-12 Member Since 2008

    Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving. Love the reviews.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    "The best thriller writer you have never heard of."

    I have to thank the pair of reviewers who took the time to recommend this book. The Publisher's Summary sounded banal and the leading character's name triggered my eye rolling reflex. Well, "Sooprize, sooprize, sooprize," as Gomer Pyle used to say. Tim Hallinan can write! Characters, plot, action, dialogue, local color: he fires on all five cylinders and even leaves you wishing the ride had lasted a little longer. And at the risk of suffering the furies of hell, I will even presume to suggest that he writes some terrific female characters. Add to all this the brilliant way he manages to weave through the story a description of an artful high school production of "The Tempest" and you have what I found to be a quite extraordinary piece of work.

    I am not quite sure what to call the book. Thriller seems much too reductive, and it is not a classic mystery, crime fiction or adventure. It is, by turns, gripping, moving, and hilarious, and it is fascinating throughout. So I urge you to get to know Poke Rafferty. And Rose, and Miaow and the women of Patpong. You might even get to like his name as I have.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Delman San Francisco 12-11-11
    Richard Delman San Francisco 12-11-11 Member Since 2006

    65 y/o father of two sons. Married 25 yrs. Audible member for 8 yrs. I can hardly read books with my eyes any more. I love reviewing.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A masterpiece. You must not miss this book."

    Tim Hallinan has become my favorite writer in the past three years or so, and each new author I try just solidifies Tim's position. The fourth in a wonderful series, Queen is the culmination of a series which will be very hard to top. The plot tells the story of Rose, a dirt-farm town girl who can only survive by going into the Bangkok sex trade. Tim tells this story with such passion that you will fall in love with Rose by the end of the book, as well as with Miaow, the street-urchin who is adopted by Rose and Poke Rafferty, who is the nominal protagonist of the series. Tim is so funny that it's hard to believe that these are "thrillers," but he will make you LOL, repeatedly. The book is also scary, with one scene in particular that will leave you breathless. I guarantee it.
    The book follows both Rose's harrowing climb and Miaow's performance in a school production of The Tempest, with such sweetness infusing every scene that you want to know these people in your own life. The scenes in the sex trade are brutal and make you want to close your eyes and ears, but you won't, because you simply must know how these three, plus Poke's best friend, Arthit, survive. The individual evil in the plot, a mercenary named Howard Horner, is so sharply drawn that your skin literally crawls when he appears. The evils of the kids' lives in the sex trade is almost unbearable, but somehow Tim makes the kids so vibrant and the women so completely real that the result is anything but one-dimensional. The women are neither whores with hearts of gold nor just throwaway tramps. Their story could not be told better if Shakespeare were living there now.
    The narrator, Victor Bevine, is perfect. Every Asian voice, every American character, each scene is told so beautifully that my only fantasy is that Frank Muller could return to us and read Tim's work. There can be no higher praise, in my opinion.
    Pretty soon you'll be telling your friends about these books, as I am.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Salt Lake City, UT United States 07-02-11
    Susan Salt Lake City, UT United States 07-02-11 Member Since 2005

    slc_reader

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    35
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    "My favorite kind of book. I could not put it down"

    I'd heard of this book so bought it yesterday, the first day it was available. I listened in one gulp. Great characters (both the "good" ones and the "bad" ones) great descriptions of the culture, and interesting plot. The reader is also excellent. Doesn't get in the way, well paced. Glad to see there are other books by this author recently added. I'll be starting another shortly. Great addition to the action/thriller collection here at audible.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne A Metamora, IL, United States 09-02-13
    Anne A Metamora, IL, United States 09-02-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    3
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    "Not for me"

    Couldn't follow the story. I restarted the book several times, but always find my mind wandering and not able to grasp what was happening. I'm not sure if it was the reader or the story itself. Finally gave up.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sina Twin Cities, MN USA 07-03-13
    Sina Twin Cities, MN USA 07-03-13 Member Since 2012

    Sina

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Bankog Thriller With An Individual Perspective"

    The Queen of Patpong goes beyond the aim of the typical thriller; it definitely is very suspenseful, but the depth of character development and the description of the larger problem of the sex industry made real through the examples of Toy, Rose and several other girls broaden the scope of the book. What I liked best was the way Timothy Halloran described the bar scenes with no hint of voyeurism, but instead with the sensibility of a friend watching. Through this individual perspective you see how all the girls involved try to preserve some shred of dignity in their lives, and to simply survive.

    The main bad characters Howard and John appear very believable in most all their actions although I wonder if someone with Howard's understanding of 'having fun' would indeed spare as much time in preparing the girl for the final showdown. In any event, Howard's true intent is masked just long enough to sustain the suspense without losing you in the process.

    The family dynamics between Poke, Rose and their young daughter, Miaow are interesting and any parent will recognize the challenges Miaows faces obviously amplified by Rose's past and its ramifications into the present including the maniac persecuting them. The Publisher's summary indicating that their love and peace is threatened may mislead some to expect a bit of a love story mixed in, but that is not the case. Poke appears genuinely in love with Rose and very protective of her, but I couldn't detect much of a vibe from Rose's perspective. Maybe that is more discernible in parts 1 and 2 of the Poke Rafferty series.

    I highly recommend the book for anyone who loves thrillers and expects the additional enjoyment of well-drawn characters, a realistic and meaningful backdrop to the crime story, and plenty of local color.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    zaid lagos, Nigeria 10-26-13
    zaid lagos, Nigeria 10-26-13 Member Since 2011
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    "immature and lacking in common sense."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    someone that does not require a plot to make sense.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    something from a matured imaginative thinker.


    How could the performance have been better?

    not performed in the first place


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    none that i can think of


    Any additional comments?

    few chapters i forced myself to read hoping it would get better was a total waste more than the few dollars i paid!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Wesport, CT, United States 09-01-13
    Andrew Wesport, CT, United States 09-01-13 Member Since 2010

    Westport, CT

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Entertaining and informative"

    If you want the inside scoop on what life is like for a Bangkok club dancer this is a must read, also entertaining, did get for $4.95 but I would say it is worth a full credit also.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ásdís Siglufjörður, Iceland 08-30-13
    Ásdís Siglufjörður, Iceland 08-30-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Glad to know this author."
    What did you love best about The Queen of Patpong?

    It is so human and kindly written about a cruel world.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I believe this story and it moves me. Never a dull moment and it is full of humanity.


    What does Victor Bevine bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He gives voice to the above, he is absolutely great!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    No idea.


    Any additional comments?

    Though It is so foreign it and has open my eyes wide up for my own fortune.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Tuscaloosa, AL, United States 08-05-13
    Linda Tuscaloosa, AL, United States 08-05-13 Member Since 2012

    Nurse, mom, loved to read....but now I love to listen. When I retire I hope to hear waves crashing in 1 ear and audible in the other!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Fabulous $4.95 Find!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, very interesting story. Sometimes you pick losers but this is a winner!


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Yes, very suspenseful and unusual, not your usual thriller.


    What does Victor Bevine bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I thought he did a good job with narration, there were many characters along with the Thai dialect.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I had to pause on occasion because of the intensity, but I finished it within a couple of days.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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