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In his latest case, Sonchai is paired with young, female inspector Krom. Like him, she's an outsider on the police force, but she is socially savyy and a technological prodigy. In the midst of a typhoon they witness a deadly demonstration of super-human strength from a man who is seemingly controlled by a CIA operative. Could the Americans really have figured out a way to create some sort of super-soldier who is both physically and psychologically enhanced? Are they testing it, or him, on Thai soil? And why is everyone, from the Bangkok police to the international community, so eager to turn a blind eye?
The case will take Sonchai to a hidden Cambodian jungle compound for aging American vets where he will discover exactly how far a government will go to protect its very worst secrets - both past and present. It is also a case that will shake Sonchai's world to its very foundation and may finally force him to confront his lost father.
An unusual crime scene disturbs Sonchai Jitpleecheep in Burdett's wild and entertaining sixth novel featuring the Thai homicide detective (after 2012's Vulture Peak). Near the corpse of a 12- or 13-year-old girl, whose head seems to have been pulled off her body by sheer brute force, someone wrote a message in the victim's blood indicating that the writer knows who Sonchai's father is. Before he can really process this suggestion regarding his unknown biological father, Sonchai witnesses two men in a boat each throw a woman off a boat to drown in the Chao Phraya River during a storm. The tragedy only gets weirder when video of the crimes shows that the boat's other passenger, an enormously strong "tall blond farang," swimming to shore against a raging current. That man is seen meeting with Joseph Goldman, a CIA spook, who was involved in notorious mind-control experiments. Impressively, everything comes together for a dramatic and satisfying, though downbeat, ending.