Tom Vater

Tom Vater

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

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A Madras Miasma, published by Crime Wave Press, makes Top 10 crime debuts of 2014 @ Crime Fiction Lover (UK)

madrasmiasma

A Madras Miasma, written by Brian Stoddart and published by my crime fiction imprint Crime Wave Press, makes the Top 10 crime debuts of 2014 @ Crime Fiction Lover (UK).

The author is a distinguished academic in Australia, and has written many non-fiction books, but this is his debut as a novelist. We are in post WWI Madras, and former soldier, now policeman, Christian Le Fanu, has to investigate the death of an English woman, found in one of the city’s stinking canals. He must do this against a background of mounting unrest in the civilian population, and dissenting factions within the British colonial administration. As well as being a compelling detective story, the novel unforgettably evokes the sounds and smells of 1920s India.

Cambodia: A Journey through the Land of the Khmer – in The Advisor

Cambodia-cover

An extract of my new book – with renowned American photographer and Lonely Planet veteran Kraig LiebCambodia: A Journey through the Land of the Khmer, is featured in The Advisor this week.

Read the text – about the country’s capital Phnom Penh – here.

The Blind Rooster – The 13th title from Crime Wave Press

rooster

The Blind Rooster by Preston land is the 13th title my publishing company Crime Wave Press has released.

When con-man Ralph does a runner on the check at a shabby diner in an unfamiliar town, he doesn’t expect it to catch up to him. But the waitress Arlene tracks him down and ropes him into a bizarre heist involving ugly family secrets, a violent stepfather, a well-secured safe, and most of all Arlene’s mother Gracie—a sultry karaoke queen who tickles Ralph’s fancy for older women. Ralph will need all his guile to make it through a job that has him wishing that he’d just paid for his meal.
The Blind Rooster offers a crude slice of American small town Noir, sunny side down, with echoes of Jim Thompson and Elmore Leonard.

When con-man Ralph does a runner on the check at a shabby diner in an unfamiliar town, he doesn’t expect it to catch up to him. But the waitress Arlene tracks him down and ropes him into a bizarre heist involving ugly family secrets, a violent stepfather, a well-secured safe, and most of all Arlene’s mother Gracie—a sultry karaoke queen who tickles Ralph’s fancy for older women. Ralph will need all his guile to make it through a job that has him wishing that he’d just paid for his meal.
The Blind Rooster offers a crude slice of American small town Noir, sunny side down, with echoes of Jim Thompson and Elmore Leonard.

Cambodia: A Journey through the Land of the Khmer – Cover

Cambodia-cover

Cambodia: A Journey through the Land of the Khmer has just been published. It’s currently only available in SE Asia but this will change soon. I am told the book will be available on Amazon soon.

It’s been a great project to work on with photographer and publisher Kraig Lieb.

And it’s the heaviest book I have published so far! About 1.2 kilos a copy.

Cambodia: a Journey through the Land of the Khmer – Out Now

cambodia-airport2-small

“Cambodia: a Journey through the Land of the Khmer” , an illustrated book by photographer Kraig Lieb, went on sale over the weekend in Cambodia.  I contributed the text.

Great project, great journey.

This shot by Kraig is from Monument Books at Phnom Penh Airport.

The book will be available on Amazon US & Amazon UK within the next month.

Fred Branfman – Obituary – The Daily Telegraph

fredbranfman

“The Plain of Jars, what it’s a symbol of, is how those people on the vague frontiers, those people in the Third World, those people we never see, we never know about, we never hear, can be vaporised, wiped off the face of the earth without people back here even knowing about it.”

My obituary of US whistle-blower Fred Branfman who exposed the bombing of Laos in the later 1960s in today’s Daily Telegraph.

Just-in-Time Printing of Stories from Our Dark Side

crime

As my publishing imprint Crime Wave Press has been invited to this year’s Georgetown Literary Festival in Malaysia, literary reviewer Umapagan Ampikaipakan interviews me for The Business Station.

The publisher of a Hong Kong based fiction imprint (the company endeavors to publish the best new crime novels, novellas, and short story collections to readers around the globe) tells about print-on-demand fiction and about the recent explosion of Asian crime fiction.

Listen to the full interview here.

Thailand: Murder in the Land of Smiles in The Diplomat

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The country’s tourism sector is taking a hit following a high-profile murder case and a bungled police response.

My report in last week’s The Diplomat.

The Man with the Golden Mind in The Chiang Mai City News

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The Man with the Golden Mind, the second Detective Maier Mystery, published by Exhibit A Books, gets reviewed by Kevin Cummings in The Chiang Mai City News.

Vater​ has fine-tuned his craft. The writing is tighter than The Cambodian Book of the Dead (Exhibit A 2013) although still on the darker and more violent side of crime fiction. Tom Vater describes two things particularly well, on an individual basis and grand scale: ​power and man’s inhumanity to man. The fact that one impacts the other should come as no great surprise but the way Vater dissects the two is skillful and to​ be appreciated.

Read the full review here.

The Man with the Golden Mind – Podcast hits 17.000 listens

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The Podcast I did back in June on my new novel The Man with the Golden Mind, the second Detective Maier Mystery has had more than 17.000 listens.

Thanks very much to Stuart Beaton at The Small Picture Podcasts for the great interview.

Listen to the full podcast here.

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