Jim Newport’s A DARK CHRISTMAS is a notably worthy addition to his ‘Vampire of Siam’ series as the author takes us on a familiar descriptive spin around Bangkok’s picturesque streets and down some of its darker alleys. The novel was inspired by the unfortunate death of a friend’s son and his Don Quixote tilt at seeking justice. And so it goes; exposing the endemic corruption sustained by an elitist system in which the rich and powerful are impervious to the pressures that would crush ordinary citizens.
Revisiting his friend Martin Larue in Bangkok after a long absence, 190-year-old ‘Vampire of Siam’ Ramonne Delacroix becomes embroiled in seeking revenge for the death of Hon, Martin’s piano prodigy adopted son.
Newport takes us on a familiar journey around The Big Mango and Phuket as Ramonne beheads Russian thugs, battles with a Thai Mafia figure and, inevitably in Thailand, befriends a mysterious Frenchwoman – Juliette, the former girlfriend of Martin’s deceased son. The couple embark on a jolly rampage of vengence, violence and wild sex. Juliette reveals that she herself is also a very old soul who was present for the French Revolution. Needless to say, the vampire is smitten.
Jim Newport writes fluently and accurately about his characters and the inescapably colourful locations of Bangkok and Phuket. His Ramonne is both likeable, yet gross. But if you read a vampire novel, beheadings and bloodsucking must be expected.
Martin and his loving Thai wife, Areeya, provide a softer counterbalance to the vampire’s dubious qualities. The plot – or plots – evolve, separate, then merge in a dexterous demonstration of the novelist’s artistry. Newport’s well-deserved reputation for writing fast paced, descriptive novels in his favourite genre is definitely enhanced in ‘A Dark Christmas’.
Alastair Carthew, author ’Proud, a tale of rampant ludicrousness’. ’Divine’s Choice’ (2021); editor ’Social Media and Elections in Asia-Pacific’, ’Political Polling in Asia-Pacific’; ’Environmental Journalism in Asia-Pacific’, former correspondent Newsweek, Thailand Tatler, Thailand Prestige, The Phuket News, Sydney Sun Herald, Christian Science Monitor.
Phuket resident Jim (James) Newport is a writer and Emmy-nominated Production Designer. A DARK CHRISTMAS is his 8th novel. Autographed copies of all Jim’s novels are available for B600 from firstname.lastname@example.org. Digital copies are available at Amazon.com.