Reviews for Axe Factor
Booklist Reviews 2014 March #2
*Starred Review* Jimm Juree is a Thai journalist who feels she's come down in the world since she had to leave all the excitement of the big city and her position as crime reporter for the Chiang Mai Daily Mail to move with her family to the tiny village of Maprao in southern Thailand. There, she helps her confused and confusing family run a failing country resort on the Gulf of Siam. She freelances and supplements her income by translating Thai into English; each chapter starts with an example of crazed English signs, as in, "Please Leave Your Values at the Front Desk." The editor at the local paper gives Jimm an assignment to interview Maprao's most famous farang (European), a Brit who writes best-selling crime novels. Dramatic irony is used exquisitely throughout. For example, the reader knows what Jimm doesn't know about the crime author who is cleaving watermelons with an ax when she first meets him: he uses his ax on much more than watermelons. As Jimm is falling under the author's spell, and coming ever closer to being cleaved herself, she's also investigating the disappearance of several women in the area. In addition to a clockwork plot and an intriguing setting, what really makes this book sing is Jimm's own caustic, ribald observations. A stunner of a novel, third in the Jimm Juree series by the author of the acclaimed Dr. Siri novels. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2014 April #2
Restless reporter teams up with veteran crime writer of questionable character to solve a series of disappearances. Can it possibly turn out well? Despite her exile to the southern coast of Thailand, former big-city journalist Jimm Juree has almost managed to keep her sanity with the occasional online assignment, all the while peppering her imaginary friend Clint Eastwood with a series of chatty pitches for her dream screenplay. Jimm seems normal compared to her musclehead brother, Arny; her blithely unrealistic mother, Mair, who's responsible for moving the family to the boondocks; and her grumpy, ever more addled Grandpa Jah, who keeps bursting her fanciful bubbles. Jimm's in a particularly foul mood after being seriously mauled by an ungrateful cat she's rescued from a tree. So she's both delighted and surprised when she interviews veteran British crime writer Conrad Coralbank and finds a kindred soul. Jimm openly admits her attraction to the older man, who's just conveniently separated from his wife. When said wife is identified as one of several local women who's recently gone missing, Jimm wonders if she's in too deep to see Coralbank's place in the mystery clearly. She decides to investigate anyway. Creepy unattributed blog entries woven into the tale, presumably from the killer, add tension, and an impending storm raises the stakes. Jimm's third case (Granddad, There's a Head on the Beach, 2012, etc.) continues her evolution from inveterate wisecracker to believably flawed and funny heroine. The result is a perfect balance between droll comedy and serious plotting. Copyright Kirkus 2014 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Library Journal Reviews 2014 April #1
The wait is over for fans of Cotterill's witty, over-the-top south Thailand-based series. In this, number three (after Grandad, There's a Head on the Beach), journalist Jimm must contend with a serial killer and a tropical storm just before Christmas. [Page 73]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2014 February #2
Cotterill's outstanding third Jimm Juree mystery (after 2012's Grandad, There's a Head on the Beach) opens with an unposted blog entry "found two weeks too late." Signed with the initials C.C., the text is the first-person account of the slaughter and butchery of a woman with an axe. It concludes with plans for more bloodshed. C.C.'s real identity is apparently Conrad Coralbank, an English writer living in Thailand, whose career parallels that of Cotterrill. Juree, a freelance journalist now residing in a rural village on the south coast of Thailand, gets an assignment to profile Coralbank, with whom she's soon smitten. Meanwhile, the outrageously funny Juree, who conducts an imaginary e-mail correspondence with Clint Eastwood, grows increasingly suspicious about why a local doctor disappeared. Despite the grimness of the violence and the corruption Juree eventually uncovers, Cotterrill keeps the tone light, aided by the conceit of starting each chapter with Thai signage, replete with malapropisms (e.g., "Ladies are Requested not to Have Children in the Bar"). (Apr.) [Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC