Jake is a loner who works nights in a Darwin motel and lives at the YMCA. He’s in love with Angel, a Thai prostitute who works out of the low-rent Shark Motel.
A vicious murder turns Jake’s life into a nightmare. He must fight for his life on the heat-soaked streets of Darwin and Bangkok in the wet season, to get revenge, and to get his life back.
This is a short, snappy, fast-paced read. Not my usual genre. Very strange to have a first person narrative written by a main character (Jake) who is schizophrenic, a casual drug user, wastes his money on stupid bets which you know he’s going to lose (I could have slapped him at these times) and is highly aggressive and keeps getting into fights, but still has a sense of moral duty when it comes to helping others. And no-one else, including horrid police officer Cooper, can understand why Jake loves prostitute Angel and will do anything to help her and avenge her murder.
I cannot pretend that I didn’t find some of this book quite shocking. Without being sexist and making sweeping generalisations, I felt that this is a book written by a man for men. It’s not just the trivialisation of the rife prostitution in Bangkok (just something that goes on) or the police corruption in Darwin, but the use of bad language throughout, the sex, the constant drug use by almost everyone Jake knows, and the violence that lurks everywhere. I found some of the graphic descriptions rather distasteful but the story is so good I did not let it distract me. I’m a big girl now. I can handle it.
It’s definitely not a slow burn. It’s like being hit over the head with a stone in a sock – not that I’ve ever experienced that, thank goodness. It smacks you in the face like Jake’s punches from Tommy and then gives you a good kicking for good measure. It will not be for everyone so be warned if you are easily offended and stay clear. However, if you love a ride as fast as Bangkok’s motorcycle taxis, then read this. It’s clever, exciting and…well you’ll have to read it to find out. Excellent stuff.
Many thanks to @damppebbles for inviting me to be part of #damppebblesblogtours
About the Author
Sean O’Leary has published two short story collections My Town and Walking. His novella Drifting was the winner of the ‘Great Novella Search 2016’ and published in September 2017. He has published over thirty individual short stories and is a regular contributor of short fiction to Quadrant, FourW, Sudo, Close to the Bone (UK) and other literary and crime magazines. His crime novella The Heat, set in Darwin and Bangkok, was published in August 2019. Drifting and The Heat are both available on Amazon. His interviews with crime writers appear online in Crime Time magazine.
He has worked in a variety of jobs including motel receptionist, rubbish removalist/tree lopper, farm hand, short-order cook and night manager in various hotels in Sydney’s notorious Kings Cross. He has lived in: Melbourne; Naracoorte; Sydney; Adelaide; Perth; Fremantle; Norseman; Geraldton; Carnarvon; Broome; Yulara; Alice Springs; Kakadu; Darwin and on Elcho Island-Galiwinku. He now lives in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, thinks that test cricket is the greatest game of all and supports Melbourne Football Club (a life sentence). He writes every day, likes travelling and tries to walk everywhere.
Australian Bookseller link: https://www.busybird.com.au/shop/the-heat/
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/35NihZp