CAM­BO­DIA NOIR

Nick See­ley, Simon & Schus­ter, $33

The Courier-Mail - QWeekend - - REVIEWS - BARRY DICK

Pho­to­jour­nal­ist Will Keller has been liv­ing in Cam­bo­dia for nine years. He is good at his job but has thrown him­self into the seed­ier side of the lo­cal cul­ture with just a lit­tle too much en­thu­si­asm. Binge-drink­ing ses­sions, drugs and ca­sual, al­most anony­mous sex, are tak­ing their toll and Will knows he can’t fall much lower into the mire. Then comes a chance at redemp­tion of sorts; a plea to find June, a young jour­nal­ist who has gone miss­ing while chas­ing a story. June’s sis­ter, the beau­ti­ful Kara Saito, begs Will to help and he agrees – for the chal­lenge and the money. As Will searches for June he uncovers alarm­ing de­tails about the girl and her fam­ily. He also finds cor­rup­tion at the high­est lev­els, is kid­napped and tor­tured, nar­rowly es­cap­ing with his life. See­ley’s first book will not be for ev­ery­one. Some of the vi­o­lence is stom­ach-turn­ing but there isn’t a lot to be gained by sugar-coat­ing the Cam­bo­dian un­der­world where life is cheap.

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