by Mani Publish: Aug 20, 2019Series: Great DisturbancesThrillers
For fans of John Burdett (Bangkok 8) and John Le Carre (The Constant Gardener): Toxic Spirits is a highly atmospheric thriller set in Thailand, a playground for colorful expats, beautiful women and limitless skullduggery. Narrated with insightful meditations on nature and biodiversity, interspersed with macabre violence and dark hilarity, the novel is also a brilliant, genetics- and AI-inspired take on multiculturalism and personal identity. Advance Praise:"A complex and enthralling international intrigue with a treasure of remarkable detail neatly packed into a short novel that dances on the edge of John le Carré territory. A rich read from start to finish." Frederick Barthelme, author of New Yorker stories and eleven novels including There Must Be Some Mistake."Mani writes Thailand beautifully with heart and a lot of souls." Colin Cotterill, author of The Coroner's Lunch, from the Dr. Siri Paiboun mystery series, and sixteen other novels set in Laos and Thailand. "Toxic Spirits is a striking debut. Its prose, fluid, will tug you along; its dialogue, rendered gracefully, sparkles with authority; its plot is loaded with much to love, plenty to leave you in the kind of wonderment your soul has sought in books." Mark Wisniewski, Pushcart-prize winning short story writer and author of Watch Me Go."A fabulous writer whose sensuous and affecting prose both beguiles and transforms." Tom Vowler, author of story collection The Method and novel What Lies Within.Synopsis: Benton, a widowed African-American intelligence analyst from Washington D.C., retires to Thailand. At an expat bar, he is captivated by Siri, a beautiful tribal singer. When Siri disappears, he discovers that she had been speaking out about the side-effects from drug trials conducted on her hill-tribe. Benton's investigations draw him uncomfortably close to Pierre, the seriously disturbed Indo-Cambodian doctor running the trials. Becoming an unwilling guinea-pig in the trials, Benton is transformed by the genetically-engineered drugs and falls in love with Mimi, a stunning and gifted young Thai-Australian. As the genetic manipulations spiral out of control and spread to the botanical treasures of Thailand's Golden Triangle, the forces of tribal healing, high-tech medicine, and love battle to determine who will survive.
BIOGRAPHY Mani is the award-winning author of the thriller Toxic Spirits, widely praised for its beautiful writing and terrifying story. He has previously published nearly three dozen short stories and essays, in addition to six scholarly books. A writer, scientist, and professor, Mani retired early from Silicon Valley to Thailand, where he volunteered in the Golden Triangle with the hill-tribe fictionalized in Toxic Spirits. Born in India and educated across four continents, he also studied creative writing at Penn (with Carlos Fuentes), at Bread Loaf (with Patricia Hampl), and at Harvard (with Paul Harding).
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