The story is set in 2001, just as Cambodia is re-emerging from over 50 years of war, genocide, famine, and cultural collapse. Mr. Vater, an excellent wordsmith, takes his time setting the scene through carefully executed rounds of history, fully imagined characters, and his construction results in a rich world full of mystery, mysticism, ghosts, Eastern philosophy, jungles, sweat, mosquitos, drugs, sex, and violence.
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“The narrative is fast-paced and the frequent action scenes are convincingly written. The smells and sounds of Cambodia are vividly brought to life, and aficionados of this kind of writing will love the book. “
— Crime Fiction Lover
“The action itself is fast and furious from start to finish, with enough killings, assassins, tortures and horrors to satisfy the most jaded palate.”
— Crime Review
“The Cambodian Book of the Dead is a hard boiled crime story wrapped in a surreal meditation on genocide, globalisation and the expatriate condition, by a writer who has acute observations to make on all three subjects.”
— Pulp Curry
Cambodia 2001 – a country re-emerges from a half century of war, genocide, famine and cultural collapse.
German Detective Maier travels to Phnom Penh, the Asian kingdom’s ramshackle capital to find the heir to a Hamburg coffee empire.
As soon as the private eye and former war reporter arrives in Cambodia, his search for the young coffee magnate leads into the darkest corners of the country’s history and back in time, through the communist revolution to the White Spider, a Nazi war criminal who hides amongst the detritus of another nation’s collapse and reigns over an ancient Khmer temple deep in the jungles of Cambodia.
Maier, captured and imprisoned, is forced into the worst job of his life – he is to write the biography of the White Spider, a tale of mass murder that reaches from the Cambodian Killing Fields back to Europe’s concentration camps – or die.