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A Good Death

Dreary and infrequent cases, a mountain of credit-card debt, an estranged wife – not to mention a blackened eye courtesy of an irate subject -- Sebastian Damon is struggling to make a success of the small, Boston-area detective agency founded by his father. But then a client offers him a very different assignment: an overseas life-insurance investigation in Bangkok, Thailand, into the apparent fatal overdose of a beautiful young woman, Linda Watts. Her glittering resume -- a survivor of Southeast Asia's war-refugee camps who overcame a tough immigrant childhood to become a successful Boston banker – belies the official paperwork of her drug-related demise. Is it a legitimate "good death" – or something more sinister in a raucous city notorious for its X-rated nightlife, narcotics trafficking and official corruption? No matter. Damon is counting on the big payday and the chance to prove himself with a big-league case.

What he hasn't counted on is Bangkok – inscrutable, unwieldy, and teetering on the verge of an economic meltdown -- or his growing attraction to the enigmatic woman whose fate he has been hired to determine. With the help of an old Special Forces buddy of his father, an alcoholic expat with a penchant for Country & Western music and an encyclopedic knowledge of Bangkok's demimonde, he'll try and navigate the kingdom's distractions and dangers. The search will ultimately lead to a long-buried truth more shocking than anything Damon could have envisioned, prompting a perilous investigation that could make his career – or maroon him in one of the world's remotest places.

Editorial Reviews of A Good Death:

"A story that channels Conrad, Kipling, and Francis Ford Coppola… An insightful, transcendent adventure. Cox, who has traveled Asia for three decades, creates a vivid sense of place, ties his characters' rich backstories to the tragic war, and illuminates the current plight of Laotian hill tribes. A Good Death is another example of the only positive to emerge from the Vietnam War—fine writing." –Booklist, starred review

"Cox's action-packed debut is perfect for armchair travelers who will be amazed by the author's ability to make gaudy Bangkok and the remote hill country of Laos come alive... Award-winning journalist Cox puts his travel writing skills to good use in a book that is perfect for fans of Tim Hallinan and Hilary Davidson." –Library Journal, starred review

"Intrigue aplenty… Throughout it all, veteran journalist Cox's first novel gradually and expertly turns up the heat, doling out the exotic details by careful teaspoons early on before plunging Sebastian into a world far from his comfort zone. A debut thriller whose predominant tone, as its title suggests, is a profound sadness that no death, not even for an insurance company's client, is a good death." --Kirkus

"Those fond of exotic foreign locales will welcome journalist Cox's mystery debut, set in Southeast Asia… Vivid descriptive prose." –Publishers Weekly



"A first rate mystery, beautifully crafted, fast-paced, and populated with the most vivid (and at times seamy) characters. But what lifts this novel way above most others are the exquisitely realized settings, from sizzling Bankok nightclubs to the deep, suffocating jungles of Laos. A bravura debut!" --Douglas Preston, #1 bestselling co-author of the Pendergast series of novels

"A Good Death takes readers into the wild, wild east of Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos—and keeps them there with an engaging mystery, told by compelling, complex characters. Like its exotic locales, Mr. Cox's vibrant, colorful, and crisp prose will capture your attention from beginning to the end." --Loung Ung, national bestselling author of First They Killed My Father

"Christopher R. Cox blends grit, heart, and a reporter's eye to create unforgettable characters and a haunting story. He brings Bangkok alive in detail that will make you feel you've walked its perilous streets yourself. A Good Death is a great debut!" –Steve Ulfelder, Edgar-nominated author of The Whole Lie

Locations from A Good Death:

Click below on each location

Chiang Mai

West of Bangkok
River Kwai

North of Bangkok

Isan (Northeast Thailand)
Nong Khai
Ubon Ratchathani
Wat Pah Nanachat
Chong Mek checkpoint

A Good Death
book cover

St Martin's Press; A GOOD DEATH
named a Top 10 debut
crime novel for 2012-13

2013 best
Click here to read the article
A nail-biting debut mystery that plunges readers into the seamy side streets of late-90s Bangkok and across the untamed mountains of the Lao-Vietnam border, hot on the heels of an alluring woman who's officially dead – unless she's masterminded a half-million-dollar life-insurance scam.

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