& Tim Hallinan
Continuing the story begun in two previous novels and concluding what the author terms an “informal” trilogy, The Hot Countries conveys more information about Poke Rafferty and his way of life in Bangkok than did the previous six books in the series. At the same time, there’s a deeper and more penetrating look into his friends and attitudes. The novel is more serious, without the author’s customary cynical levity. With good reason.