Tired of Vampires?

I loved them when I was thirteen

Want a story to grab you by the neck–but tired of getting it in the neck?

How about a sexy, adult, political thriller?  No virginity.  No teenage angst.  Plenty of adult angst.  Setting?  No, not Utah.  The tropics.  The End of the Monsoon.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia, today.  Hot, humid nights at the Foreign Correspondents Club overlooking the Mekong.  Businessmen and tourists, both a little on-the-make.  A cosmopolitan in your hand and frangipani on the air–with a whiff of sewage from an outfall by the National Theater down the quay.

A contemporary story.  The lovers: a British professional woman of Sudanese ancestry, and an American, formerly on Wall Street, now a diplomat. Their affair is illicit, as is his latest assignment: do what it takes to ensure an American oil company is granted a concession to drill in Cambodian waters.

Adult characters with real jobs and real conflicts:

The American diplomat, burned on Wall Street, happy in a new career of blameless duty with a pension at the end–now asked to take on a job that makes the deals he analyzed at Lehman Brothers look clean.

The British lawyer, a Buddhist in a sexless marriage, finding love outside it–but looking for a way to transcend the moral conflict.

The senior American diplomat, a woman who’s climbed the ladder without a break, now asked to follow an order of ambivalent legality–and tempted to pass the chalice.

The young, conscientious Agency case officer–looking for the courage to come out of her sexual closet.

Consciously and unconsciously, in ways they see and ways hidden, their lives intertwine.  It’s the end of the monsoon, the country’s under water, and elections draw near.  The Prime Minister’s party needs money for votes and the American oil company’s willing to pay for the concession.  The US embassy pushes the deal but the Englishwoman, pushing transparency, unwittingly works against it.

The ruling party’s not interested in transparency.  They’ve never hesitated to assassinate their own people (when they couldn’t be bought off).  How far will they go with foreigners?

No, not a vampire story.

The End of the Monsoon

Published by John Murray in the UK, and available throughout Europe.
Read the first chapter here (as PDF).

By the same author:

The Desert Contract

Published in 2008 by John Murray and Scribner.

The Desert Contract

Click covers to purchase on-line
Download covers: UK   US

Reviews for The Desert Contract:

“Invokes both The Quiet American and The Ugly American, but the deft manner in which the reader is kept guessing who the ‘good’ guys and the opportunists are is the author’s own.” –Publishers Weekly

“His characters are complex and deeply human, and as he ratchets up the tension, readers will root for them to survive.”

“Dry as a proper martini, providing the same pleasant effect.”
–Kirkus Reviews

“Our Man in Calgary” feature in The Calgary Herald

Interview in Open Book Toronto