Wednesday, June 12, 2013

BANGKOK LAWS - Book Reviews.

The fifth book in the Laws series, Bangkok Laws, was released on March 15, 2008 and is now available. Be prepared to ascend to a whole new level of excitement.

Bangkok Laws
ISBN 0976924315
Jim Michael Hansen
Dark Sky Publishing, Inc.
Original Trade Paperback (5.5 x 8.5)
425 Pages
$13.95 US
March 15, 2008

Back Cover Copy: As Denver homicide detective Bryson Coventry finds himself entangled in the collateral damage of a killer who uses the entire world as his playground, newly licensed attorney Paige Alexander lands her very first case —a case that could possibly destroy the most powerful law firm in the world; a case involving a deadly, high-stakes international conspiracy of terrible proportions; a case that started in Bangkok but will not end there.


"Bangkok Laws is the fifth book in the Laws series featuring detective Bryson Coventry. Hansen is expert in delivering novels rich with suspense, leaning toward the dark side and exploring not just the law but the complexities of life and human nature.

This installment, like others in the series, is told from different distinctive POV including a brutal glimpse into the mind of a killer. Hansen does an excellent job with his villains, and in this book it is obvious they can come in all shapes and sizes. Various plots weave through the story, and though the reader knows all are connected, the pace and substance of the book keep the reader guessing up until the ultimate reveal.

In this installment, Coventry makes a promise to a dead woman, something he swore he would never do again; he can only imagine the convoluted intrigue he will be entering. Along with solving the death of the woman, Coventry must find her missing friend. Another woman dies in strange circumstances, and meanwhile Coventry finds himself falling in love.

Ja’von, Coventry’s new love interest, is almost improbably beautiful, and readers will be immediately suspicious of her placing herself in the way of Coventry. Paige Alexander is an attorney with no cases hired by Ja’von to take on a top law firm - an almost impossible task, but Paige is somewhat seduced by the glamorous Ja’von, who is at the heart of the story, though just in what way will remain to be seen.

The connections to Bangkok seem sketchy at first. A pilot arriving home from Bangkok is brutally stabbed, Ja’von claims to have been a victim of sex slavery in the Thai capital, and she wants justice. How does this relate to the deaths of the two women and the kidnapping of one, all of whom have no connection to Bangkok? Will Coventry work it out, or will Paige and Ja’von? Will they even survive what they get themselves into?

This book has it all: high-stakes international intrigue, a green attorney taking her first case, lots of falling in lust and love, the scent of corruption, and of course, cold-blooded murder. There is no question that Hansen writes suspense and drama very well. His bad guys are truly bad but totally believable. All the cast are shrewdly written and are individuals. The plot is cleverly written, and all the twists and turns take the reader on a roller coaster ride while showing them everything they need to know to solve the crimes and join the dots.

Yet while some claim this to be Hansen’s best to date I disagree. I reviewed Night Laws and found it superior to this outing. I find Coventry not nearly as well rounded in the novel. His falling in love with Ja’von so easily seems improbable, and his caffeine addiction seems to be taken to new heights with coffee mentioned more times then I care to count. Even his interactions with other characters, while amusing at times, appear to take on a different tone. His partner, whom I identified in Night Laws as a strong character whom I had hoped to see develop, seems to be wasted here, being reduced to the woman he wonders about sleeping with if he did not work with her.

Still, I would not want to deter readers from the series. Hansen has an excellent writing style and many fans of this hard hitting series. I have not read every book myself and still intend to check them out.

I should make mention of the little joke Hansen has with his readers in this book (and I am not just talking about all the characters reading his books). Watch out for Hansen’s homage to Hitchcock and Coventry’s reaction, which is truly priceless." --Kellie Warner, Curled Up With a Good Book,

"*** Returning is homicide detective Bryson Coventry, whose latest female conquest, Ja’Von, has the potential to become more than a mere sexual dalliance, in spite of the fact that she seems somehow to be connected to a twisted racket involving sex slaves in Bankok. Ja’Von, meanwhile, has hired newbie attorney Paige Alexander to take on Denver’s largest large firm to try to right an enormous wrong done to her. Paige, desperate to make a name for herself as a lawyer, takes on the case, intrigued by its David-and-Goliath proportions. Part of what makes this thriller thrilling is that you sense there to be connections among all the various subplots; the anticipation of their coming together keeps the pages turning at a deservedly quick clip. Not for the faint of heart, this one is recommended for those ready to endure its heartpounding, gory ride." --Booklist (February 15, 2008 edition)

"Denver homicide detective Bryson Coventry investigates a number of seemingly unconnected crimes in Bangkok Laws, the fifth mystery in this series by Jim Michael Hansen.

The first crime, a murder, seems fairly routine, a man repeatedly stabbed in the back. Obviously a crime of passion, yet there are no suspects. Then a woman is killed, her neck broken, and left outside a home she was preparing to clean. Inexplicably, her roommate has disappeared. Then another woman, the daughter of a prominent television personality, vanishes. Though nothing connects any of these crimes together, Bryson begins to suspect that his new lady friend, Ja'Von Deveraux, is somehow involved. She has hired a recently licensed and inexperienced lawyer to sue the largest and most prestigious law firm in Denver, a legal mismatch if ever there was one. And then a common thread emerges: Bangkok.

Bangkok Laws alternates between three points of view: Bryson Coventry and his investigative team, Ja'Von and her lawyer Paige Alexander, and a contract killer named Dylan Joop. Since there are no obvious connections between them, it could be confusing to the reader exactly what's going on and why. Furthermore, the pace of the plot is relentless with never much time spent on one point of view before moving on to the next. Yet the author handles it all brilliantly with an amazingly deft touch. Improbable coincidences in another context seem perfectly reasonable here ... or at least credible. A suspense novel to be sure and there is some misdirection, but most readers will no doubt figure out well before the end how the various plot threads come together. This in no way, however, lessens this thrilling adventure.

In a nod to, and with respect for, Alfred Hitchcock, the author inserts himself in a scene or two, and titles of his books seem to appear on most of the character's bookshelves or nightstands at one point or another. This, like much of the rest of Bangkok Laws, is more clever than contrived and ultimately works as pure entertainment." --Lance Wright, Mysterious Reviews

"Pilot Ewing barely makes it back to the States from Bangkok when he is stabbed to death. At the same time a woman is following detective Coventry . He calls his partner for the 411 on the follower. He discovers her to be a PI. He stops at a bar. She follows him in. He motions for her to join him. She feigns that she needs to buff up her surveillance skills. As they sit there, he places his hand on her leg and she places it higher right when his phone goes off, a body. She asks if she might join her. Later that night they make love, and he falls for her. Ja’Von is her name.

In another part of town a new attorney unable to find work as such is waiting tables. When a tray falls dropping a ton of dishes nearly no one helps her untill a lady steps up. Paige warns the lady to be careful the pieces are sharp, but she says it with tears. Then she adds I shouldn’t be here. Where should you be? Asks Ja’Von. Being an attorney, says Paige. Ja’Von says then I have a job for you. Later she tells an incredible tale of sexual slavery in Bangkok and how she escaped, barely. She continues with how she had been set up by a law firm in Denver and she wants to sue them. Paige says fine and the games begin.

In the meantime, a young woman, with Merry Maids is kidnapped.

As Coventry and JaVon’s relationship blossoms, more deaths occur. Paige is almost murdered and random acts may not be random. Is everything connected to the slavery ring in Bangkok ? Is there something more going on? Who is pulling the strings?

Jim Michael Hansen has written another book in his “Laws” series. Bangkok Laws is a fast paced thriller. It keeps you on the edge of your seat. It is a long book but I read it one sitting because I had to know what was going on and who was doing what to who. There are many characters and when you first begin the book it is a little rough to follow but before long you are up and running with all the players. I enjoyed the book however I was a little disappointed in the ending. It was more of a wrap up rather than a play out. That being said, it was an excellent read!
On a scale of 1 to 5, I give it a 4.7."
--Cynthia Lea Clark, Psy.D., Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine

"There’s no other way to say it, I’m hooked on Bryson Coventry and the man who brought him to life. Hansen’s characters change with each story and are so full of life and so vivid that unfortunately, I can never put one down until it’s finished. This story deals with Bangkok white slavery and a mega law firm. As usual, Coventry is working on more than one case and they begin to collide as the body count rises. Naturally it wouldn’t be truly Coventry if he didn’t have a string of females at his beck and call but maybe Ja’Von will be different and the start of a long romance. No matter how it plays out, Hansen continues to be the best and I’ll continue to recommend him to all my friends." --Andra Tracy, Out Word Bound Books, Indianapolis, IN

"*** BANGKOK LAWS is another excellent mystery and I find myself amazed at both how quickly the author can write and how he's yet to hit that dreaded "sophomore slump." Few authors can handle what Jim Hansen has managed--this is his fifth novel and he's still "wowing" his readers." --Tracy Farnsworth, Roundtable Reviews

"In BANGKOK LAWS Jim Hansen has once again challenged his protagonist to new heights. BANGKOK LAWS is the 5th book in the highly regarded LAWS series and the best to date. *** BANGKOK LAWS is Hansen’s best effort to date. It is white knuckle page turner of a novel that keeps you glued to the page and with paper cuts on your fingers. If this is the first book that you read in the series, you will not be disappointed. Hansen masterfully weaves the elements of suspense, sexual tension, retaliation and horror so well that you are unaware that a few hours have past and your done with the book. Bryson Coventry is one of the best characters in modern thriller/detective fiction in the last five years." --Aldo Calcago (Mystery Dawg) for Future Mystery Anthologies Magazine,

"*** From the seedy sex dens of Bangkok to the crystal clear skies of Denver, Jim Michael Hansen takes you on a voyage into a very dark world of sexual slavery, and ultimately, cold-blooded murder. *** Jim Michael Hansen has a unique ability to tempt the reader with a trail of crumbs that ultimately sucks you into the spellbinding vortex he has created in Bangkok Laws. You will turn the pages so fast your fingers will bleed. Not since Stephen King have I read an author that has the ability to reach the deepest recesses of the criminal mind. Spooky.

Armchair Interviews says: A very complex and realistically brutal plot, it might have been ripped from the headlines of the Denver Post!" --Jeff Foster, Armchair Interviews

"*** You will find a storyline that is probably more real-to-life than you care to imagine, strong believable characters, both hideous and lovable, and a knock-out conclusion, that trust me, you definitely will never see coming. Another top-of-the-line winner for Mr. Hansen and one you do not want to miss.
--Shirley Johnson, Senior Reviewer, MidWest Book Review

"*** Jim Michael Hansen is about to unleash another electrifying laws book that will keep you, the reader, turning page after spine-chilling page to see what lies around the next curve. So get ready to follow Coventry through a never-ending roller coaster ride of events that will lead through a fantastical situation, along with the beautiful women who are involved up to their necks."
--Wanda Maynard, Simegen

"*** Avid readers have their favorite authors and this one has become one of mine. The style of each book is the same, but the plot twists and turns are uniquely different from one another. This is the fifth book in the series and the luster is still there.

Bryson Conventry is just as interesting now as he was in “Night Laws” – Hansen’s first book. Especially the women he meets. They just seem to get more beautiful with each new story. The characters that surround Bryson have not lost their luster either. They all come off the pages as living, breathing people.

The best part of Hansen’s writing is that I get dropped into the depths of the story within two or three pages. As with most of the series, I started and finished this book in one sitting.

I whole-heartedly recommend reading “Bangkok Laws.” It is great, whether or not a person has read the other “Laws” books." --Kathy Martin, In the Library Reviews

"Thirty four year old Bryson Coventry, head of Denver’s homicide unit and serial womanizer, has survived four previous outings but this one may be his undoing, as he becomes involved in the collateral damage of a global killer. Newly licensed attorney Paige Alexander is employed on her very first case. It involves a deadly high-stakes international conspiracy that first manifested itself in Bangkok and will end who knows where. The connection between Alexander and Coventry is San Francisco private investigator Ja’Von Deveraux who combines a lifeguard’s body with movie star features. Deveraux has survived a terrible experience and is now looking for revenge. She enlists Alexander to help her and then Coventry. Not for the weak hearted but full of action and coffee drinking, crime solving Coventry and his cast of cohorts continue to evolve with each outing. Rough as the Rockies, but also refreshing. Can’t wait for the next in the series." --Jack Quick, Bookbitch Reviews

"*** Highly recommended as a tale you will have to finish once you begin to read. Talented author Jim Michael Hansen has woven a fascinating plot from several subplots to satisfy even the pickiest thriller fan. Action aplenty with false trails and red herrings to draw the reader into dead ends and keep us trying to out guess the villains who do what they do sooo well. A book guaranteed to hold your attention and provide you with reading satisfaction. Enjoy. I sure did. (But a warning to the girls, don't travel to Bangkok unescorted.)"
--Anne K. Edwards, New Mystery Reader Magazine

"*** BANGKOK LAWS is a superior thriller that showcases the talent of one of the genre’s better authors." --Harriet Klausner, Genre Go Round Reviews. Full review here.