Tom Vater

Tom Vater

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

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Cambodia: A Journey through the land of the Khmer – Book launch in Phnom Penh, December 8th

book launch

Crime Wave Press at Georgetown Literary Festival

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Crime Wave Press are at the Georgetown Literary Festival today, having a great time.

I had not been to Penang, Malaysia for a decade, so the festival is a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with the city which has come a long way in the last years.

Also great have been encounters with a number of fantastic writers, not least Brian Stoddart, author of the Le Fanu mysteries, out with Crime Wave Press and the incredible Marco Ferrarese – author, punk rock musician and all around cool guy – who has been living in Penang for a few years.

Another wonderful individual I have had the pleasure to meet is Ismail Gareth Richards, the owner of the excellent Gerakbudaya Bookshop in Penang. Generous, gregarious and passionate about the printed word, Gareth is one of these guys who makes the world of books a better place.

Photographs by Lah Worawan Simaroj.

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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

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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

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“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

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“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

Thailand-police

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.

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