Tom Vater

Tom Vater

Irreverent, informed and downright eclectic crime fiction and reportage from Southeast Asia and beyond

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Eaux Troubles – crime novella set in la Reunion – published in Ecoute Magazine

Finally got my hands on the first short novella I wrote with Laure Siegel for Ecoute Magazine.

The five parts of Eaux Troubles, a crime story set around the problematic relationship between man and shark on the French island of La Reunion have been published.

Our next story, set in 1940s French colonial Cambodia, is set to start running this month, with a spoken word version on accompanying CDs, and we have a third novella set in the Atlas mountains of Morocco in the works for 2020.

Figures Libres – A Tattoo Book Classic


I just finished translating Figures Libres, an incredible book that documents how tattoos morphed from back alley subculture to global pop culture.

Published by Noir Meduse, Figures Libres features crazily beautiful portraits by Dom Pichard aka P-mod & a colorful round-the-world-to-follow-the-needle essay by Laure Siegel.


Figures Libres is out in September in French and English.
Pre-order a copy now and receive a free print.

48 hours in . . . Bangkok, an insider guide to Thailand’s colourful capital in The Daily Telegraph

My latest look at Bangkok in The Daily Telegraph.

Welcome to Bangkok – a sprawling, humid metropolis of more than 10 million souls that rose along the eastern banks of the Chao Phraya river a little more than 200 years ago. Today, the Thai capital brims with interesting historic sites, stylish hotels, incredible culinary adventures, and fantastic shopping, and none of this need break the bank. The city has had some success in shedding its longstanding image of sleaze for a younger, more cosmopolitan mantle and is a pretty safe urban space. And while the military government has put the break on non-stop partying, the arts scene and the world-famous street food culture, many visitors continue to feel enchanted by this cornucopia of sights, sounds, smells, tastes and moods. Bangkok remains on the map for its temples, palaces, malls and markets, but it’s the ever-present smiles of its citizens that give the city a quite lovely human dimension.

Read on…

Bangkok’s Heritage Hotels – in Roadbook!

Bangkok is better known for modern skyscrapers than historical hotels but exclusivity can be as much the province of throwback boutiques as luxury big names. Tom Vater visits some heritage properties that hit the spot.

Photo by Laure Siegel.

Read the full story here….

MERIAN Thailand

I contributed eight pages on Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Thai history and my favorite place in Thailand (can you guess where? See above pic) to MERIAN Magazine. The current issue of Germany’s classic travel publication focuses exclusively on Thailand.

The Gingerbread Houses – New title from Crime Wave Press

Crime Wave Press, Asia’s only crime fiction imprint, has published its 34th title, The Gingerbread Houses, a taut, nasty British Noir thriller from Ben Jones, his fourth title with us. Ben previously published Skewered and other London Cruelties, Pennies for Charon and my personal favorite, the totally outrageous, twisted The Devil’s Brew.

Crime Wave Press is a labor of love, seven years in the making, founded and run by Hans Kemp and myself, with Chris Roy helming the PR wing of our endeavor. We have recently sold foreign language rights to one of our titles and are negotiating for another. We plan to publish another title later this year and continually read new submissions. We are especially interested in signing more female authors.

Get your ebook copy of The Gingerbread Houses here.

A Time for Violence – crime fiction anthology

Very proud to have my latest short story, the Morocco set To Kill An Arab, in A Time for Violence, a love letter to the great anthologies of yesteryear, assembling stories by a variety of talents, connected by a singular theme.

Other authors include fellow Crime Wave Press stalwarts Tony Knighton, Elka Ray, Andy Rausch and Chris Roy.

The line-up also features three authors that recently co-wrote with Stephen King, Max Allan Collins who wrote The Road to Perdition and John Russo who wrote Night of the Living Dead, Joe Lansdale and Peter Leonard.

Fellow Noir fiction travelers Paul D Brazill and Isobel Blackthorn are also on board.

Not quite the Usual Suspects – Get a copy now – Tomorrow it might be illegal.

Published by Close to the Bone.

Get your copy here.

What if Graham Greene had written extreme horror? The Monsoon Ghost Image reviewed at Zisi Emporium for B Movies

A great review of The Monsoon Ghost Image by a retired FBI agent.

What if Graham Greene had written extreme horror? Interesting thought. True, the carnage of cold war detente may have produced some hideous and bloody results, but instead of The Third Man, we could have ended up with something akin to a Tom Vater’s Detective Maier mystery. In the third book of the Detective Maier trilogy, Tom Vater will bring us deep into the covert ‘war on terror,’ introduce us to horrific mad scientist types, show us horrors Josef Mengele would applaud, and tease us with double-cross and double-agents that Graham Greene would applaud…

Read the full review here…

Boutique hotels gain new ground in Bangkok in the Nikkei Asian Review

After lagging regional competitors, Thai capital invests in heritage accommodations. My latest with Laure Siegel in the Nikkei Asian Review.

In downtown Bangkok, hardly a week goes by without a soft opening for a high-rise hotel offering a plush but hardly unique experience. With around 35 million visitors a year the Thai capital is a spectacular tourism success, but it is lagging behind regional competitors when it comes to quirky, idiosyncratic accommodation.

Heritage hotels, many in crumbling Rajput palaces, have been one of the main reasons to visit Rajasthan, in India, since the 1960s. More recently, heritage accommodation has proliferated in Luang Prabang in Laos, and in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap in Cambodia.

In Thailand, while there is plenty of remarkable architecture scattered around the older parts of Bangkok, especially in Chinatown and on Rattanakosin Island, countless structures are threatened by construction, lack of maintenance and the absence of official development guidelines….

Read the full story here.

 

The 103 Bed and Brews – The Daily Telegraph

I’ve been reviewing hotels for the Daily Telegraph for the past four years, mostly in Thailand, but also in Cambodia, Laos and India. To date I’ve visited more than a 100 hotels for the paper. More often than not I manage to combine this job with other assignments in the same locations  (it’s not uncommon for freelance journalists to work two or three stories at the same time, the only way to pay the bills). In Kochi, Kerala I was researching a story on India’s tattoo culture while reviewing a number of heritage hotels in the old heart of town. In fact, I am a sucker for restored heritage properties. Not only do hoteliers who restore buildings contribute to cultural and historical continuity, but heritage hotels are often more funky and unique than other hotels in the same price range(s).

Last month I visited the 103, Bed and Brews in Chinatown, Bangkok, an exquisite corner shophouse on Soi Nana, the Thai capital’s hippest entertainment alley.

Read the full Telegraph review here.

Photo by Laure Siegel.

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