Friday, April 5, 2013
Review of Missing in Rangoon by Christopher G. Moore (Heaven Lake Press, 2012)
Missing in Rangoon is the thirteenth outing for Moore’s New York born and Thai-based PI, Vincent Calvino and the first in the series I’ve read. I had no problems dropping into the series and the book works fine as a standalone. The strength of the story is the nicely realised sense of place and the social, political and historical contextualisation with respect Thai and Burmese culture, especially the latter as it slowly opens up after years as a closed state, as understood by a well-embedded farang (foreigner), and there are some nice observational touches throughout. The characterisation of Calvino and his Thai cop buddy, Colonel Pratt, are nicely done, though some of the other characters are little more than caricatures acting out cliched roles. The plot was engaging and for the most part worked well, though there were a couple of moments that felt a little clunky, and at times there is too much show rather than tell, some of which was redundant with points laboured and repeated. Overall, despite a couple of quibbles, an entertaining and enjoyable sojourn into complex terrain of Rangoon.