Picture the scene: it’s Bangkok in 1996, and a somewhat impressionable travel author is finding out exactly why the capital city of the Land of Smiles has such a powerful reputation for swallowing up so many male tourists hearts and spewing them out in a single night.
But instead of falling for the usual go-go bar scams, this guy believes that he is different, a class apart from the usual tourist. Enjoy the halcyon ride as the hapless Pete not only falls in love with an angel faced demon, but he is also served up on the family table as the proverbial golden goose.
Private Dancer is an excellent read that offers both a lucid insight into what actually exists behind the Thai smile, and explains how easy it is for somebody to make the jump into an unfamiliar world without considering the alarmingly nefarious consequences.
Long-term Bangkok resident and former New Orleans cop Bob Turtledove has the knack of getting people out of difficult situations. So when a young man from Utah goes missing in Bangkok, his parents are soon knocking on Bob’s door asking for help. But what starts out as a simple missing person case takes a deadly turn as Bangkok Bob’s search for the missing Mormon brings him up against Russian gangsters, hired killers, corrupt cops and kickboxing thugs. And he learns that even in the Land of Smiles, people can have murder on their minds.
If you like your short stories a little saucier than normal, then this bad boy will be right up your street! Adrian is a successful guy who enjoys playing the stock market during the week in downtown Singapore, and gets his kicks below the waistline in Thailand on his days off. Eventually Adrian becomes bored of the typical one-night dalliances that the Thai playground has on tap, so he decides to up the ante and takes part in a rather less common intimate encounter, AKA the ménage a trois! The plucky Adrian agrees to Bang Bill’s wife in order to explore a more unusual sensual avenue, but he gets way more than he ever bargained for. Leather doesn’t often contribute to this particular genre, but when he does, the results are pure dynamite!
If you’ve read Stephen Leather before, you probably have an idea of what is in store when you pick up this book. And it doesn’t disappoint, in fact, Bangkok Bob is easily interesting enough to be worthy of a dozen sequels. Bob is a rather low key character who hails from the USA and lives in Bangkok. He splits his time between enjoying the finer things in Thai culture and dabbling in some selective detective work. As the story unwinds, we see more sides to Bob than a polygon on steroids. The Mormon in question appears to have escaped his parents clutches whilst on a holiday in the land of smiles. Bob is a decent chap and literally risks life and limb to rescue the poor lad. If you expected Bob to find him without having to go head to head with the seediest and most dangerous of Bangkok’s denizens, then you will probably need to speak to your own parents before picking this one up – Truly Entertaining!
Although Stephen Leather is more famous for his searingly explosive crime thrillers, he has a rather humorous and ever so slightly naughty side to his character. The Alphabet Game is a very slick tale written about an adventurous chap named Dave. As the title alludes to, Dave has a thing for letters and this affinity also spills over into his frequent dalliances with member of the fairer sex. The book is full of amusing and true to life character insights that will have you engrossed from the moment you pick it up. We won’t spoil the forthcoming experience for you, but suffice it so say, when Dave bumps into a femme fatal who goes by the name of Zed, things start to get very interesting indeed!
If you were looking for a simple tale of love and a happy ending, you’d be best advised to realign your expectations before picking up this side-splitting short story. Stephen Leather has excelled himself yet again as he takes us on a journey that seems to hold no bounds. And it goes a little like this: man has wife and 3 kids, man meets Ladyboy, man leaves wife. The man in question is Peter, an ex-accountant who certainly enjoys the spicier side of love. And do they live happily ever after? Well, they may have, except for one problem, Som, the Ladyboy in question, has always yearned for a child, and that is where the fun most definitely begins! The Ladyboy Lover is a literary version of the infamous Thai Papaya salad, and it should be your next purchase, bar none!
If you are looking for a short story that opens up a whole new world of intrigue, romance and good old fashioned storytelling, you should read The Pregnant Wife! Stephen Leather has cracked the code that allows us to share this vastly different set of rules and standards that exists within the Land of Smiles. The story follows a young English teacher as he falls in and out of various situations like a modern day Casanova, except this loveable rogue is going to get the shock of his life. When he swaps the rent-a-date scene for online love links, our hero soon gets his latest flame in the family way. You’ll laugh and cry as you bear witness to some of the classic Thai family values that make our world so very far apart, yet not so different – Brilliant Read!
The multi-faceted talents of Stephen Leather are in abundance in this saucy short story that follows almost every married man’s fantasy. If you are currently feeling a little adventurous and have dreamt about encouraging a sensual female to buddy up with you and your wife under the sheets you’d be best advised to read The Threesome first, hombre! Flying over to Thailand has been known to make men leave their brains at the airport, but Jimmy seems to have forgotten to even pack his in the first place. This excellent read will have you involved from the get go and once you see where Jimmy’s libido is leading him towards, you’ll soon shelve those wayward thoughts along with your other ‘great’ ideas – Superb!