eBook - 2013
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When the Norwegian ambassador to Thailand is found dead in a Bangkok brothel, Inspector Harry Hole is dispatched from Oslo to help hush up the case. But once he arrives Harry discovers that this case is about much more than one random murder. There is something else, something more pervasive, scrabbling around behind the scenes. Or, put another way, for every cockroach you see in your hotel room, there are hundreds behind the walls. Surrounded by round-the-clock traffic noise, Harry wanders the streets of Bangkok lined with go-go bars, temples, opium dens, and tourist traps, trying to piece together the story of the ambassador's death even though no one asked him to, and no one wants him to'not even Harry himself.
Publisher: New York : Vintage Crime/Black Lizard, 2013
Copyright Date: ©2013
ISBN: 9780345807168
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: Bartlett, Don - Translator

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Oct 10, 2020

I have read and returned this book.

Jul 08, 2020

In 1967 I lived in Bangkok and attended Chulalongkorn University. It was, of course, during the height of the Vietnam War and an amazing time to be in Southeast Asia. We witnessed the growing sex trade due to thousands of American troops in and out of Bangkok every week. Thai women and girls were revered and protected by their families, but when a single night with a GI could support that family for weeks, if not longer, prostitution flourished. I prefer to think that the degree of child trafficking was less then, but perhaps I was naive. Because the Buddhism of Thailand is Hinayana, the lesser vehicle ( that of Vietnam is Mahayana ) there was a different attitude toward social responsibility. In Thailand most of the homes for the unwed mothers ( those who were not begging on the streets with their mixed race babies ) were run by other countries and religions. Some of us volunteered at these homes. In Vietnam you had nuns and priests protesting the war, some by setting themselves on fire, and acting with greater "social conscience". Why am am I thinking about how our military presence in Vietnam changed the sex culture in Bangkok?? Cockroaches (book two ) begins in the sex trade and the Norwegian ambassador is subject to blackmail due to his sexual behavior. When he is murdered, Harry Hole is sent to Bangkok because he did such a great job in Australia in "The Bat", book 1 of the series. ( It was fun for me to be able to picture the streets and places, but "my Bangkok" no longer exists after 53 years. ) Until the later books in the series, which are set largely in Norway, gained international attention, the first two books were not published in the U. S. I have read all the Harry Hole books, but it is wonderful to know Harry's history. The Redbreast (Norwegian: 2000) the third in the Harry Hole series was the first to be available in English. The Cockroaches was translated into English, fifteen years after being originally published in Norwegian. Any reader of Nesbo knows that he does not pull any punches when it comes to violence, so be prepared. I like the early Harry and recommend catching up on the first two books if you have not read them. Kristi & Abby Tabby

May 13, 2019

Much better than The Bat. Previous book in series was a macho, shoot-em-up story. This story was much more satisfying. Worthwhile reading the next book in the series to see if the improvement continues or at least remains constant.

Jan 28, 2019

I started somewhere in the middle with the Harry Hole series a couple of years ago, now I try to read through them in the correct order. Nevertheless, Nesbø still manages to surprise me with the killer in the end. I guess it's because he puts in quite a lot of characters. The beginning is pretty calm, compared to Phantom for example, but the pace increased towards the end, then I got really hooked to the story.
I can recommend this book to everyone who likes crime novels and especially to everyone who'd like to know a bit more about Harry (there are again some flashbacks to his past).

Nov 06, 2016

The second book in the Harry Hole series

Aug 16, 2016

Loved this book - I don't recall reading any of Nesbo's mysteries before but now I'm hooked. I started off being a bit irritated with what i thought would be another alcoholic's story but that turned out to be a very minor detail that barely figured in the tale. I loved the Thai setting and atmosphere and I was surprised by the ending - that's a very good thing in a mystery. I'll be searching for others of Mr. Harry Hole's stories

Pippi_L Jun 30, 2016

Sometimes called the next Stieg Larsson, Jo Nesbo is actually better than Larsson. But start the series with this book, you don't need to read the first one in the series.

Mar 02, 2015

Typical Harry Hole; keeps you guessing. Easy read although the names can be confusing.

Feb 28, 2015

Nesbo sets this novel in Thailand where Harry Hole is sent to solve the murder of the Swedish Ambassador. Nesbo includes the expected descriptions of life in Thailand from the food, driving conditions, prostitution, child sexual abuse, drugs, gangs, corruption, inhumane treatment of the detained, etc. Additional murders of Swedish nationals also occur and these too seem connected to the Ambassador's murder. By the time Harry figures out the motives behind the murders, Nesbo is almost at the end of the novel which then comes swiftly, bloodily, and, life threatening to Harry. This novel, for me, lacked the continual action that I have come to expect from Nesbo. I just got lost with the unusual names of personnel and contact people Nesbo introduces to move the story along. Also, the financial dealings of big companies went over my head , but not Harry's.

Feb 19, 2015

Better than the first (The Bat). But still the author leads us astray for most of the book. Near the end he springs up the detailed way it all happened. For a cop on the bend, he's pretty much one hell of a detective. All in all a very good book. And I will read on Nesbo's output.

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