A “sinuous, shattering thriller” (Booklist, starred review) with a heart-stopping conclusion about a mysterious American woman who disappears in to the Cambodian underworld, and the photojournalist who tracks her through the clues left in her diary, by an author whose “plotting and pacing are as sharp and original as his writing” (Nelson DeMille).
Phnom Penh, Cambodia: Lawless, drug-soaked, forgotten—it’s where bad journalists go to die. For once-great war photographer Will Keller, that’s kind of a mission statement: he spends his days floating from one score to the next, taking any job that pays; his nights are a haze of sex, drugs, booze, and brawling. But Will’s downward spiral is interrupted by Kara Saito, a beautiful young woman who shows up and begs Will to help find her sister, June, who disappeared during a stint as an intern at the local paper. So begins Will’s “journey to the heart of drug-fueled noirness” (New York Journal of Books).
There’s a world of bad things June could have got mixed up in: the Phnom Penh underworld is in an uproar after a huge drug bust; a local reporter has been murdered in what looks like a political hit; and the government and opposition are locked in a standoff that could throw the country into chaos at any moment. Will’s best clue is her diary: an unsettled collection of experiences, memories, and dreams, reflecting a young woman at once repelled and fascinated by the chaos of Cambodia. As Will digs deeper into June’s past, he uncovers one disturbing fact after another about the missing girl and her bloody family history. In the end, the most dangerous thing in Cambodia may be June herself.
Propulsive, electric, and exotically enthralling, Cambodia Noir “has it all: sex, drugs, and mystery” (MetroUS). Debut author Nick Seeley “impresses on every count,” (BookPage, Top Mystery Pick) exploring what happens when we venture into dark places…when we get in over our heads…when we get lost. “If ever a case was made for place as character in a novel, Seeley makes it here with scene after nightmarish scene…This is distinctive work” (Kirkus Reviews).
Journalist Seeley makes his fiction debut with a dark thriller set in Cambodia in 2003. June Saito, an American photographer and journalist based in Phnom Penh, disappears after a major drug bust throws the Cambodian military, police force, and members of the capital's criminal class into a mad scramble for power. June's sister, Kara Saito, hires photojournalist Will Keller to look for her. Excerpts from June's diaries chronicle her descent into sadomasochism as an escape from personal trauma. Will is a tough guy with a drug habit and a guilty secret of his own. He uses his search for June, which leads to an underworld of drugs, violence, and sexual vice, to try to put a check on his own self-destructive behavior and find new meaning for his dissipated life. Readers should be prepared for oblique cultural references and vague aphorisms that needlessly encumber an otherwise compelling story of depravity and redemption with echoes of Twin Peaks and the bleakest works of Jim Thompson.
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Thought-Provoking and Mind-Blowing
This book is a psychedelic road trip through the Cambodian underworld by means of glimpses into the daily journal of a missing woman and narratives from the mind of Will Keller, a photographer junkie. Many interesting characters pass through the story as Will becomes obsessed with the need to locate June, the missing journalist. The structure and language create an absorbing and mind-blowing experience as the backstory of the mental damage to both Will and June slowly emerges. Life in Cambodia is described by trips to the darkest side of human experience. The story is thought-provoking long after being read.
I'm from Cambodia
Omg I can't wait for this book. I Lived in us but I born and raise in Cambodia & I'm a book lover so I can't believe it happening and it true that there law but nobody follow the rule even the dictator.