When Will Beauchamp locked the door of his antique shop in Bangkok for the last time and quietly disappeared, he left behind a family in Toronto and a lot of questions. When fellow antiques dealer Lara McClintoch tries to find him in Thailand, she faces suspicion and deceit. Did Will run away? Was he involved in corruption? Why was he fascinated by an old murder case? Now people he knew are under attack. Lara regrets she started this search, but she won’t stop looking.
In Canadian Hamilton s alluring seventh archeological novel (after 2002 s The Etruscan Chimera), her globe-trotting American antiques dealer and sleuth, Lara McClintock, goes on a buying trip to Thailand, where she also tries to track down William Beauchamp, a fellow dealer who s gone missing. Meanwhile, Lara s stepdaughter Jennifer is in the country to meet the family of her Thai boyfriend, Chat. As befits the mysterious Asian setting, nothing is what it first seems. The shifts of scene between contemporary Bangkok and 16th-century Ayutthaya, the ancient Thai capital, may confuse some readers, but on the whole the author does a fine job of blending history with the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the Orient. Corpses pile up in both past and current plots, with parallel motives rooted in the quest for power, jealousy and greed. A list of both ancient and modern characters eases the task of keeping all the names straight.