Poke Rafferty is finally settling down in today's Bangkok with his girlfriend Rose whom he is about to marry and his adopted daughter, Miaow. First he seemed bound to rescue them from the horrific poverty that dooms so many Thai girls to a life of prostitution and drugs in order to survive. But the more he loves this country, the more he sees its people as individuals for whom he cares. The reader is exposed to the seamier yet entrancing world of nighttime Bangkok that drives Asiaphiles to love it so much that they decide to stay there and become part of it all. So runs Poke's story. But is his world truly about to become placid and ordinary, an extraordinary possibility in Bangkok in itself?
On a peaceful evening when Rafferty gives Rose a beautiful three-stoned ring, symbolizing the unity of Poke, Rose and Miaow, a bunch of "suits" come banging on his door. Thus begins a hair-raising, confusing, ever-deepening story of layers of connection Rafferty could never have conjured in his most imaginative dreams.
The suits are investigating Rose and her partner, Peachy, for giving their cleaning employees money that's counterfeit. It seems that the problem can be solved simply by tracing the money back to the bank where Rose got it that morning, but unfortunately Peachy's got this gambling, rag-tag background that's rather questionable, to say the least, involving the untimely suicide of her ex-husband. It also seems that North Korea is clearly involved and counterfeiting money is the main and sole source of most of their wealth, a fact known to multiple governments but a fact it seems impossible to stop.
Enter Frank Rafferty, Poke's father, whom Poke hasn't seen in years and some characters who are warning Poke that he is in some huge, dangerously uncharted territory for which he's not prepared. In between Poke ragging on his father for skipping out years ago and having another wife in China emerges this story of Frank's connection to China. It's got more to do with crime than bigamy and the intricately woven tapestry unravels bit by bit as the dangerous criminal world stakes increase for both Rafferty and his family.'' It's Frank versus Poke at first and grows to their common mission to defeat their rapidly approaching killers!
The Fourth Watch: A Novel of Bangkok is a finely tuned, spinning tale that spans several subplots converging to form a powerful, explosive ending every reader will thrill to experience!
Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on June 28, 2008
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