Monday, March 8, 2010

The Last Six Million Seconds – Book #19

| Title | The Last Six Million Seconds |
| Author |John Burdett |
| Genre |Mystery |
| Pages |385 |
| Publisher |William Morrow & Co. |
| Copyright |1997 |

Synopsis (from web-site)
A plastic bag containing three rotting heads is discovered near the Chinese mainland. The British seem to be keen for the investigation to drag on until after June 1997, the powerful Mr Xian wants a swift conclusion to the case, and the NYPD are taking a curious interest in events.

Why I read It
I was first introduced to John Burdett with his masterful Bangkok Police detective trilogy starring the multiracial Sonchai Jitpleecheep. In the reviews online I see Burdett has written a new book so I went on-line to see if my library had a copy yet. They didn’t but I saw this early work by him that I had not read yet.

What I Thought About It
As books/mysteries go this was okay. The real interest of the book is the development of Burdett as a writer. Featuring a multiracial police detective in Hong Kong (6 million seconds before it is turned over to China) you can see the seeds of Sonchai and Bangkok. It seems Burdett knew where his character was going; he just was initially not sure how to get him there. Fascinating stuff.

The other part of interest is the subtext that you cannot have control without corruption; whether that be the Chinese or the Americans. It is a difficult road to balanced power and I would guess most people fail at it. It is a fine line between what we want and what we need, and if you can figure out how to walk it and show others the way, power will take care of itself. Just don’t let it push you off.

Mormon Mentions

Author Biography

Burdett is a former lawyer who lived and worked in Hong Kong for twelve years. For a time, he was employed by the Hong Kong Government. He later worked in private practice. Eventually, Burdett decided to abandon law and pursue a career as a detective novelist.

Burdett now splits his time between France and Bangkok and spends a lot of time researching in the red light areas of Soi Cowboy and Nana Plaza.

He is divorced and has one daughter.

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