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Poke Rafferty Books In Order

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Publication Order of Poke Rafferty Mystery Books

A Nail Through the Heart (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Fourth Watcher (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Breathing Water (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Queen of Patpong (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Fear Artist (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
For the Dead (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Hot Countries (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fools' River (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Street Music (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Meet Poke Rafferty, a character from a mystery series that takes place in Thailand by Timothy Hallinan. He is a Filipino-Irish travel writer who quickly becomes a private eye once he moves to Bangkok. As a man who’s life is a bit of a mess, he craves stability and consistency in his life. His move to Thailand changes his life in ways he could have never expected. He quickly finds a girlfriend named Rose, with her own set of problems as an ex-prostitute. Poke Rafferty’s compassion and desire for a quiet family life shine through as he and Rose unofficially adopt Miaow, a homeless child. Hallinan’s writing is honest and gritty, and the life of homeless children in Thailand is no exception to that rule, so expect this novel to pull on your heartstrings.

Poke teaches us about life in Thailand from an outsider’s point of view, and doesn’t hold back on the positive or the negative. The book series follows Poke Rafferty through Thailand, uncovering mysteriesand putting himself in constant danger as he goes along, facing new cases as a private eye.

We see Poke Rafferty grow through these experiences, which often escalate in danger as the series progresses. However, he is not just a one-dimensional sleuth. He has been lauded for his character development, so Poke Rafferty is not only relatable, but readers often care deeply about his fate. Many of us can relate to his plight, as he faces the conflict of wanting a simple, peaceful family life, while circumstances constantly put that in jeopardy.

A Nail Through the Heart (2007)

In a Nail Through the Heart, we are introduced to Poke Rafferty, a conflicted man seeking a stable life in Thailand. He doesn’t find necessarily find stability, but he does find adventure when he is begins to work as a private eye. He is hired to find an Australian woman’s uncle who has mysteriously disappeared along with his maid. The missing piece is the wealthy woman for whom she used to work for. When he questions her, she send him on an entirely different mission.Although all he wants is this peaceful life he dreams of,he is in desperate need for the cash to make that possible so he accepts the job. He needs the cash to support his new family, a girlfriend who is an ex-prostitute and their adopted daughter. So you see the internal struggle he faces, craving stability, but having to resort to rather unstable means to achieve it.

Hallihan handles difficult, gritty topics like brutal torture, without having to be gratuitous in his details for shock value. As a seasoned writer, he understands that the content is shocking enough on its own. Poke Rafferty’s development as a strong, but empathetic and caring character is subtly evident throughout the first novel, leaving the reader craving to hear more of his story. Poke Rafferty is the imperfect, conflicted hero that we can all relate to in one way or another.

Expect a moving read that you won’t soon forget, especially once you pick up the second novel.

The Fourth Watcher (2009)

The second novel in the Poke Raffery series opens up with Poke’s happy family, content in the stability that he seems to have finally found. However, once again, trouble finds Poke. His wife is accused of being part of a counterfeit money ring, and is being investigated by not just the local police in Thailand, but also a Secret Service Agent from America, as some of the money involved in the scheme was American currency.

That might sound crazy enough, but the book is filled with shocking twists. When someone from Rafferty’s past whom he believed to be dead turns up, Poke has nothing but resentment for him and wants nothing to do with him. The reader soon finds out that avoidance is not an option here and there is little that his enemies won’t do to get what they want.

This second book is fraught with danger for our hero. The danger escalates to a fever pitch once cruel and brutal gangsters with no respect for life or death are thrown into the mix. We soon see a much larger, government level corruption exposed. Hallinan manages to juggle all of these plotlines skillfully, keeping the reader fully engaged and wanting more.

Usually people are fearful that sequels will never live up to the original, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here.

It is so rare for an author to create a series with believable plot twists and lovable characters. The key to great writing is character development, and Hallinan seems to have achieved that in the Poke Rafferty series. If you give the first book a chance, odd are you will be hooked and before you even finish the first novel, you’ll probably already have purchased the second, ready for his next adventure.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Poke Rafferty

One Response to “Poke Rafferty”

  1. Brian Swift: 5 months ago

    I’ve read A Nail through the heart and The Queen of Patpong – Brilliant. Where do I get the rest of the poke Rafferty series?


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