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John Burdett Books In Order

Publication Order of Sonchai Jitpleecheep Books

Bangkok 8 (2003) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Bangkok Tattoo (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Bangkok Haunts (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Godfather of Kathmandu (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Vulture Peak (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Bangkok Asset (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

A Personal History of Thirst (1996) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Last Six Million Seconds (1997) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle


His full name is John Patrick Burdett, who was born on 24th July 1951 in England, United Kingdom. Little is said or made available regarding his early life or even his family. Not a lot is available on whether he has his family. He can be best described as a British crime novelist in the literature world. As an author, he is said to be the bestselling author of many books including Bangkok Tattoo, The Godfather of Kathmandu and Bangkok 8. His familiar book series is Sonchai Jitpleecheep that has five books to it.The reader should take caution not to confuse John Patrick with John Burdett, who was an English cricketer and a right-handed batsman born in 1888 and died in 1974. We also have another John Burdett, who was an Australian politician born on 13th March 1928 and died on 25th November 1993. Out of the three known John Burdett, only John Patrick Burdett is still living. John Burdett has now completely dedicated his life to writing.

John Burdett known life is that he is a former lawyer who has lived and worked for twelve years in Hong Kong. He was for a long time under the employment of the Hong Kong Government. After he had left the government employment, John Burdett started working in private practice. John Burdett went to Warwick University where he studied English and American Literature specializing in metaphysical poetry and Shakespeare. However, as a result of despair at the time of British political and economic crises of the 1970s, John found himself as a lawyer. He however, did not practice law to the fullest. He left law and decided to pursue a career in writing novels after he had sufficient funds. Currently, John spends most of his time transverse between Bangkok and France. He also goes on with the work of researching on his novels in different locations in Thailand.

Of his work as an author, his known series is The Sonchai Jitpleecheep Series made up of these five books as for now. Bangkok 8, Bangkok Tattoo, Bangkok Hants, The Godfather of Kathmandu. He also has other books that are not series. In these series, John Burdett presents to us a character by the name Sonchai who is a leuk krung’ or commonly called half-caste. Sonchai is a son of a former rented-wife’ who in the real sense is a type of a prostitute. Sonchai has a father who is a U.S military officer whom he has never known. Having spent the better part of his early life in USA and Europe, Sonchai has acquired some cultural insights and is considered to be born as an outsider. Coupled with all these events surrounding his life, Sonchai finds himself constantly being alienated from his colleagues.

Based in Thailand, the series involves the red-light districts of Bangkok and Thailand’s sex industry. It presents the conflicting norms and morals in Thailand and Western states. John Burdett has been able to show various cultures that he brings out so well making the series unique. Some of the cultural traditions that he has brought up so well include the Anglo-Saxon, Buddhist, Latin and Confucian among others. The series contains out-of-life characters brought up very well through a sense of humor though having bizarre crimes. One more thing to get noted about John is his expression that he might consider moving beyond the regular genre of crime/detective we are used to once he completes his Bangkok series.

Bangkok 8 which is the first book in the series gets set in what John calls a city like no other as it’s one of the world’s most exotic. It opens with the murdering of Marine sergeant who is charismatic. The sergeant gets murdered in the presence of gaping spectators under a Bangkok bridge. He is in a bolted-shut Benz. We have the only two cops in the city as among the people who witnessed the killing of the sergeant. After some time, one of the cops also gets murdered and the remaining cop by the name Sonchai Jitpleecheep is on a mission for revenge. As Sonchai tries to investigate the murder of his colleague and get the person behind it all, he is given the services of a lady FBI agent to help him. As the two try to capture the killer through their investigations, Sonchai ends up winning the heart of Jones, who is the FBI agent. Bangkok being a city filled with all kinds of evil from illicit drugs, high corruption to prostitution, Sonchai finds himself in the world more evil than he had thought. His thirst for vengeance puts him at the center of this sinister city.

In the second book, Bangkok Tattoo, John continues with his crime thriller novel. As a detective attached to the Royal Thai Police, Sonchai has to investigate the death of a foreigner. The man got murdered, and his body mutilated while in a Bangkok brothel jointly owned by Sonchai’s boss and his mother. The foreigner was a CIA agent, and the prime suspect is Chanya. Chanya is not only beautiful but is also the brothel’s top earner and above that, Sonchai has loved her for some time. Sonchai is hence torn between the lines. If he has to solve the murder, he ends sending Chanya to prison. Should he consider a cover up, he endangers his karma. It’s a case that has interested parties including Muslim fundamentalists, gangsters, and American spooks.

Of all the published works of John Burdett, they have been considered for films. However, the multi-racial characters and exotic location have made it difficult for filmmakers to get characters to star in them and the screenplays. Millennium Films has already bought the rights for the first novel Bangkok 8 and then Sony Pictures acquired the rights of the other four with the intention of producing a film. So far, since buying the rights in 2007, Millennium Films has not been able to have the book turned into a movie. As for now, we just wait to see what Sony Pictures will come up with after purchasing the rights of the remaining for novels with the aim of producing a film.

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