BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET
Oak Maedow Phuket BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search


‘The Postmistress of Nongkhai’ leaves us wanting

The topic of smuggling premium drugs from South and Southeast Asia during the latter half of the 20th century has been the basis for several good reads – non-fiction, fiction and a handful of titles that mix a little bit and a whole lot of both.


By Steven Layne

Friday 8 July 2016, 12:00PM


Frank Hurst’s The Postmistress of Nong Khai is a drug-smuggling-suppression title fresh off the press that recently landed on our desk for review. A swift 342 pages later, we can affirm that this title qualifies as an engaging page-turner. Though it is a work of fiction, one might question how much of the story was inspired by actual events or people. Set mostly in Thailand in the late 1980s, with a few brief episodes in the UK, Frank Hurst leaves little for the imagination to fill in, and his level of understanding and research is evident in his writing. 

The story’s protagonist, Mike, is a 40-something UK customs agent who gets his career break and dream when he is assigned to head a newly-opened Bangkok mission, to tap into the heart of the 1980s Southeast Asia dope supply transit lines, from the infamous Golden Triangle through Bangkok’s Don Muang and beyond.
Hurst’s descriptive and scene-setting ability is brilliant, roping the reader right into the page and bringing an otherwise mundane setting to life, be it an awkward meeting with a Thai colonel, an idle Bangkok traffic jam or nursing a cold one in a Bangla bar. He leaves us wanting more in the build-up to a few spirited scenes, but eventually gives us what we yearn for, and elegantly at that. It is evident that the author has actually lived what he has written and his unique writing style is engaging, particularly when formalities are interjected with the protagonist’s informal thoughts, and slurs.
Overall, this read has been a particular treat for us, as more than half of the book is set in Phuket, covering scenes we love and know so well – the airport, Patong, Kamala, Rawai, Phang Nga Bay, and as for the ending, everything goes back to the subject of the title and her relationship with the protagonist. Frank Hurst ends rightfully with a twist, and cleverly at that, leaving us wanting more. We look forward to his next one!

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

CAPTCHA

Be the first to comment.

 

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
DSI pursuing corruption charges over The Peaks condo project, says MP Sira

Go Khun Sira! My fingers are crossed that this case will proceed as it should, and that all those di...(Read More)


Six months after Thailand’s first COVID case, Phuket holding strong, says island health chief

Unfortunately complacancy seems to be sinking in. Probably 60% of the people I saw around Kamala tod...(Read More)


COVID vaccine ready ‘next year’

@Capt.Jack Maybe because a person needs 2 doses of vaccine !?! @Kurt How many countries are worki...(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: Ghost of Phuket past rears its ugly head

@Pascale, not a slow day at all. Your 'wondering' comment about PN adds is giving room to se...(Read More)


COVID vaccine ready ‘next year’

@CaptainJack. Thai population is around 67 million now. 70 Million vaccine doses looks correct admin...(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: Ghost of Phuket past rears its ugly head

I also agree to island man, that a big part of the chaos will be back soon, but please let me point ...(Read More)


COVID vaccine ready ‘next year’

so Thailand is closed for at least another year...(Read More)


COVID vaccine ready ‘next year’

Thailand's population is usually estimated at 66 million. Why does 50% coverage need 70 million ...(Read More)


Phuket’s notorious Nui Beach club finally torn down

A Thai Official 'alone' has no 'image respect'. Comes with back up in numbers to fee...(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: Ghost of Phuket past rears its ugly head

Look at the large shopping centres in Phuket Town and Patong. Everything (branded) the same, from s...(Read More)