The Fourth Watcher
A Novel of Bangkok
Harper Collins Publishing
To say that Timothy Hallinan’s second installment in the Bangkok series starts off with a bang is…well, exactly what it does…from that initial blast to the closing words you are immersed Poke Rafferty’s world, where nothing is what it seems. Whether you’re an international traveler, well versed in Asian cultures or a homebody like me, The Fourth Watcher brings Bangkok to life. The vivid, lush imagery, believable characters and high stakes plot line will keep you turning pages. Hallinan utilizes every tool at his disposal to deliver a complete reading experience. Even the chapter titles add flavor to this remarkable read!
Poke is an ever-so- likable character you simply can‘t help but cheer for! He‘s quick witted and absolutely devoted to his fiancee’ Rose and their eight year old, adopted daughter Miaow. Determined to provide a better life for his two best girls, he decides to write an espionage thriller. Realizing he needs to be familiar with the topic in order to be authentic, he hires Ex-CIA Agent Arnold Prettyman to assist him with his research. Stumbling upon information concerning a recent flood of counterfeit money from North Korea puts Poke and Rose in the Secret Service’s crosshairs. However, the plot thickens when Rose is accused of passing the fake bills through her cleaning business.
If this weren’t enough to complicate their lives, Frank, Poke’s estranged Father re-enters the picture after years of silence…and he isn’t alone. Poke is apprehensive, but Rose encourages him to give his father a second chance. As usual, where Frank is concerned, trouble is not far behind and this time his connections to the underworld have endangered Poke’s family too.
Throughout the novel Miaow is nothing short of a subtle hero. The adorable, street wise Miaow displays a degree of maturity that is far beyond her tender years. This child’s ability to rise above all the tough, lonely times she endured is amazing, but to do so without becoming jaded is a testament to the power of the human spirit and the healing power of love. The Fourth Watcher is masterfully written, highlighting Hallinan’s knowledge of the culture and his genuine affection for its people. Rich, alluring details draw the reader in, providing a deeply satisfying read. The characters have been assembled with the care of a loving parent and the scenic imagery is worthy of a spot in Louve. I recommend this book to all who enjoy an intriguing story with memorable characters, some easy to love, others, very easy to despise. And with the third book in the series releasing this summer, now is the ideal time to get to know Timothy Hallinan’s Poke Rafferty.
In a nutshell the title of chapter 14 says it best, “It’s not coming from the direction you expect.”