This week brings the good cheer of Colin Cotterill’s second Jimm Juree mystery, “Grandad, There’s a Head on the Beach“. Set in Thailand, by a village in the Gulf of Siam, Jimm has followed her mother from Bangkok, out of a sense of filial duty, but when she finds a head on the beach, her former life as a crime reporter is revived. The head belongs to a Burmese man, and it seems that the local Burmese population, underdog immigrants, are disappearing without the local police investigating.
This reminds me of Carl Hiaasen, with a strong sense of outrage about real events, made entertaining by high-speed writing with strong characters. Add in a spot of education about Thailand, and some delightfully-misheard song lyrics, and the book’s almost read itself before you realise. A five-star read, with an ending that has me ready to read the next one. It’s the first Cotterill I’ve read, but I’m on the hunt now for the back catalogue.
PS Country crime can happen in any country, it doesn’t have to be the English countryside. Tony Hillerman and Dana Stabenow write about opposite ends of American countryside, Louise Penny about Canadian villages – I’m always on the look-out for a cosy village to call (temporarily) home.