Freelance Photographer and burnt out, former war photographer Will Keller has sunk to an all all-time low as he struggles to survive in the steamy, corrupt city of Phnom Penh.
Coming out of a booze filled nightmare, he records a drug bust that shows the head of the Police Force somewhere he should not be, obviously in league with Drug Lords and Barons, leaving Will wondering why he bothered to wake up and take the pictures.
June is a journo working in Cambodia who has gone missing. Her sister Kara Saito has come looking for her, convincing Will to help find her. The more Will looks at the problem of the missing woman, he realises she worked for the same paper he does and that he has somehow, sub-let her flat. Discovering her diaries he begins to put together something he would rather not be involved with but can’t resist. Is this going to be his salvation or will it be the death of him? That is something to be discovered and only time and life will tell the ending.
Trouble is he begins to ask questions in the wrong places and discovers that Kara Saito also has another life, which places both of them in a situation that is far more dangerous and reckless than anything Will ever signed up for. But then he is not really sure why he agreed to get mixed up in this situation anyway.
His journey deeper into darkness takes in the streets of Phnom Penh, dives, bars and dive bars, corruption, drug filled nights and booze filled a days, all interwoven with violence and murder.
There are times when the script is less than plausible but is rescued by the intriguing and complex puzzle that creates the seething, ancient essence of Asia, the seediness of life in Cambodia’s cities and the duplicity of the human psyche.
The story line is basically simple, the twist and turns that of a Machiavellian mind with an eye for immense detail and a penchant for violence, placing this novel in a stand out place of its own; one that will engage the reader, taking them on a fast paced journey into a tomorrow that may not end as you look through the eyes of Will; still lost, still searching, still trying to find a reality with which he can live.
Noir literature is certainly not for the fainthearted, but if you can handle the underbelly of life, the rawness and powerful description of what lies under the surface of any city should you care to look, Cambodia Noir is right up there with the best of the genre.
|Publisher||Simon & Schuster|
|Distributor||Simon And Schuster Australia|