Authors Showcase: Everyone Burns by John Dolan
June 25, 2015
The Book: Everyone Burns
The Author: John Dolan
The Story: ‘He opens a drawer of his desk, casually takes out a pistol, flicks off the safety catch and points it at my head.
He says almost sorrowfully, “Do you imagine me to be a gangster, Mr Braddock?”‘
It is January 2005, and the charred remains of two Europeans have been discovered on the Thai island of Samui.
Local Police Chief Charoenkul, sidelined by his superiors, enlists the reluctant David Braddock, a burnt-out private detective, to assist in an ‘unofficial’ investigation.
But Braddock has problems of his own, including an affair with the same Police Chief’s wife …
Peppered with irreverent humour and some pithy comments on everyday life in the Land of Smiles, Everyone Burns is much more than a crime novel. It is also a carefully-crafted psychological study of an anti-hero for our time.
The ‘Time, Blood and Karma’ series will appeal to lovers of the following book categories: mystery, thriller, crime, Thailand fiction, private investigators, British detectives, and amateur sleuths.
Review by Cameron D. Garriepy:
I was introduced to John Dolan when he graciously agreed to participate in a writing project on my blog earlier this year. I have been curious about “Everyone Burns” ever since. The charm, wit, and humor in John Dolan’s Twitter, G+ feeds and blog are infectious, and his writing is rich without being heavy.
“Everyone Burns” is by turns gritty, tender, introspective, darkly funny, clever, sad, dangerous and sexy. Mr. Dolan draws the reader into the Thai landscape and culture, spins a tricky mystery, and releases into the story a wholly engaging and diverse cast.
I was particularly delighted with David Braddock’s complex (and brilliantly flawed) relationships with the women in his life.
The first-person point of view is unabashedly intellectual; Braddock is a storyteller of a protagonist, taking the reader through the events of his life through the filter of a man who is literate, self-aware, kind, generous, coarse and full of human failings. In short, the best kind of man.
The resolution is satisfying without being obvious, with unexpected twists and timely reveals.
Review by Amazon Customer:
The setting is Koh Samui, Thailand. I spend lots of time in Thailand, but only as a tourist. This story gives an excellent feel for what it would be like to be a Westerner actually living there. It’s great to see an insider’s view of this life.
The characters come to life. They are created in a fashion that makes you feel you know them intimately – like them or not, you will know them. The protagonist is a flawed character that you grow to like, but would often like to throttle him.
The plot/story line is absolutely fascinating. The author takes you into a variety of interconnected subplots that keeps you guessing the whole time.
For anyone with an interest in Buddhism, (like my wife, who is currently engrossed in the book), there is lots of thoughtful and insightful philosophical passages. The hero is forced to engage in self-discovery throughout the whole story.
The ending is very satisfying and completes the picture making you glad you invested the time into reading the story.
As a slow reader, I would usually take a month to get through such a story, only being able to read a chapter or two each day. But this was one of the few books I had trouble putting down and finished in record time. I am now keen on reading more by John Dolan.