Vulture Peak, by John Burdett, Corsair, RRP£7.99, 464 pages
A more profitable commodity is taking the place of drugs and prostitution in east Asia: human organs.
Royal Thai Police detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep is still a Buddhist at heart, despite investigations that plunge him into Bangkok’s most lurid criminal nests, but this time he’s handed an exclusive credit card and an icebox full of eyeballs with instructions to infiltrate the international body parts trade. Burdett’s readers are used to seeing his enlightened hero operate in the clip joints of his home turf, but in this outing the detective follows the transplant trail from Phuket to Dubai and Monte Carlo, confronting corrupt clients who exploit the desperate, including an ageing rocker with a wrecked liver and a pair of Chinese twins.
The fifth in this gaudily sensual Bangkok series is not for the faint-hearted, as Thai beliefs spark against the shady morality of this global black market with ensuing fireworks.