This vivid and graphic crime thriller is perhaps in fact
more an exposé of the shocking sex trade in Thailand, and other illicit activities
of the Bangkok criminals; all on all, though, it seems to particularly emphasize
the cultural exploitation of these desperate, destitute people by sex tourists
from al over the world, and the lengths they will go to just to survive. The Second Poison is detailed and
holds nothing back in its candid portrayal of child prostitutes, ladyboys and
their repulsive clients’ twisted tastes, so it certainly will not be for all
readers (and definitely adults only).
This book is very good, and extremely well written by an author
who not only knows his subject well, but can write fiction to a tremendous
quality – Wilhelm is the real deal, for sure.
A current resident of Thailand, he has a good understanding of the
country’s economy and the role sex tourism plays in it, while also looking to
have carried out thorough research into the workings of cyber crime, crypto-currency
and the scam industry. In this gripping tale,
which was particularly easy to engage with, an American citizen travels to Bangkok
to take a simple yet brutal revenge against the Thai businessman who ripped off
his father in an online investment scam – a crime which led to the older man’s
suicide. The tale reveals something of
the reality of the faceless frauds which normal people of the West are drawn
into every day, and that behind each anonymous scheme there actually is a face –
that of your average lowlife criminal. In
this story, former dark operative Tony shows us just how easy it is to get to
them, in the most ruthless way.
It is a satisfying read overall, although the revenge
itself, as short and sweet as it was, was probably not the real point; Wilhelm
clearly has something to say about those who exploit these people and the indifference
of the Thai government – his revelations about the impact of these activities on
the country’s GDP are a real eye-opener.
The crime thriller is really, it would appear, just a narrative vehicle for
This is a good book, and pretty decent fiction for grown-ups,
though certainly not for the more prudish.
I recommend it – particularly for those more naïve, contemplating a trip
to Thailand’s red-light areas – and hope to read others by this author in the
In : Book Reviews