It Is January And The Charred Remains Of Two Europeans Have Been Discovered On The Thai Island Of SamuiLocal Police Chief Charoenkul, Sidelined By His Superiors, Enlists The Reluctant David Braddock, A Burnt Out Private Detective, To Assist In An Unofficial InvestigationBut Braddock Has Problems Of His Own, Including An Affair With The Same Police Chief S Wife Peppered With Irreverent Humour And Some Pithy Comments On Everyday Life In The Land Of Smiles, Everyone Burns Is Much Than A Crime Novel It Is Also A Carefully Crafted Psychological Study Of An Anti Hero For Our Time

10 thoughts on “Everyone Burns

  1. says:

    It was a real treat for me to discover this 2012 entry to a new detective series A detective with heart, a fascinating mystery, and an exotic location set in an island community in Thailand So what is there about this to distinguish it from the crowd Our hero, a middle aged Brit David Braddock, is easy to identify with, kind and literate, a man who empathizes with the downtrodden He is no boy scout, as he is frequently subject to the human weaknesses of lust and the escape from internal stresses through alcohol He is unusual as a hero in this genre by avoiding violence, yet he can prove himself brave without being macho I love how he consorts frequently with a Buddhist monk for advice and how his playful mind reaches to examples from fiction to help with his challenges The customers for his private detective business mostly involve investigations of suspected infidelity in love relationships While the truths he uncovers provide a needed dose of reality for his customers, he gets satisfaction from a separate business he runs in provide counseling and problem solving advice The steadiness of his life becomes unraveled when the police chief calls him in to help investigate a murder of a foreigner, a man found bludgeoned and burned It turns out this is a second murder with the same MO The first was suppressed, but it is now difficult to keep the press from raising the alarm of an active serial killer, news of which threatens the tourist trade The other challenge for Braddock is that he is having an affair with the police chief s wife Do the murders represent a psychotic person s hatred of foreigners, jealous rage, or financially motivated crimes Against the backdrop of this key case, Dolan shows great finesse in juggling the stories of a set of vibrant minor characters in Braddock s life A sexy and spiritual housekeeper from Java, a pragmatic and pregnant office manager, a blind old man embittered by the death of a son, and numerous cameo spots that help color in perspectives on Thai culture The Buddhist themes that Braddock ponders are pervasive but not overdone they represent a special source of pleasure to me The monk exhorts him If you would only stop listening with your ears you might understand better Let me spell it out for you Everything is connected Everyone is connected Everyone and everything is interconnected.Your analysis of your problem will be based on individual things, but your solution will lie in the interdependency of everything.Braddock has a self deprecating form of humor that is refreshing in comparison to the irritating wise cracking common to many detective heroes For example I bet you get lots of women who cry in here Some Most women only cry with me in the bedroom Usually out of disappointment The title of this gem highlights an organizing thread to the diverse elements of the novel Everyone burns, as the Buddha says, in their own way Some burn with anger, some with lust, some with the desire for vengeance, some with fear But inside us burn many fires, not just one We are legion, we contain a multitude.Dolan may be an unknown quantity for most readers, but I think he is worthy of a wider readership If you stick with just best seller authors, you will often end up with a lot of formulaic writing and recycled melodramatic plotting.

  2. says:

    Everyone Burns by John Dolan is a criminally unknown novel To think I might never have discovered it It s set in Thailand That mattered to me because I ve never read a book rooted there I warmed to the linguistically amalgating consonance of Indian sounding names We need to keep revising our opinion of the main character, David Braddock It s crazy how we need to update and collect new strands of info about him Everything that happens here is plausible Apart from the murders, there s not one shot fired or explosion detonated Braddock is a cultured character, and when he drives the narrative forward, we get to appreciate the author s mind via him Braddock does not even have a PI license That fact defines the direction of the case in question David does not have any epiphany In case you are beginning to think that there s only one person in the book, rest assuredhaving said that, the author has chosen not to delve into purple prose Sometimes that pays, sometimes you feel further description has gone amiss.Let me try and articulate why I like this book so much The hero has flaws instead of eccentricities The story sets up its red herrings with a seasoned, practiced signature You don t get annoyed by the speculation arising in your mind, because guessing here is fun and you think you are on the money about some of your assumptions I myself hit paydirt once in the book The beginning burgeons with multiple cases for our antihero That s it, or was it, for me Maybe you ll unearth reasons to like the book Have fun A belated word of caution not all facts in the book are true Case in point, German is not the only language to have a single word meaning schadenfreude The English have a mirroring word of their own Epicaricacy.

  3. says:

    Wow.This book had me constantly intrigued Just when you think you ve figured out the big surprise , he hit you with another.Not only this, the book was witty, and with a no bullshit approach main character, whom you loved but hated There were many dimensions to this book that all flowed together seamlessly This was a fantastically written book.I m not sure why this hasn t been recommended to me, or has reviewers.Five stars all around, it wasn t just good reading, it had plot, well written at that and research.I will be looking for his next and upcoming book s.Bravo Mr Dolan, you get it.

  4. says:

    I am not a god I am simply awake Paradox abounds in John Dolan s wildly entertaining noir detective mystery thriller, Everyone Burns The central character is one David Braddock, a forty something Englishman, shadowy and transplanted to the island of Samui, located in the Gulf of Thailand Braddock is a borrowed convention from the film noir genre cynical, Marlboro smoking, whiskey drinking he is all man powerless to the charms of a beautiful woman, full of integrity yet surrounded by deception His job, in dual roles of private investigator and therapist is to find the truth beneath any veneer of artifice and he relies on his uncanny sense of intuition, coupled with a finely tuned power of keen observation and the outlines of strict logic He is constructed as a paradox by Mr Dolan Braddock is a Buddhist, yet he can throw a punch he is a model of discretion yet he advertises on billboards This conflict serves as vehicle for the story but is just one layer of the contrasts which make the novel so entirely compelling to read Action in the story begins with a violent fight in the Mosquito Bar, complete with busy transsexual katoeys and imposing foreigners or farangs Immediately the reader s expectations are established and we easily trust our guide into this underworld The novel is peppered with familiar archetypes but they are all related with the even humour which provides the levity to the darker scenes meticulously played out for the reader Mr Dolan does a seamless job of motivating the action through the many locations that typify Thailand and there is a definite familiarity to these environments which offer enough detail to help a reader unfamiliar with the novel s locale to understand the complexity of that world From the seedy escort bars to meditative temples, Mr Dolan weaves in keen filmic images the ambience feels authentic and he understands just how much to show The narration mirrors a voice over in film noir and Mr Dolan has artfully incorporated the iconic aspects of the genre into his novel Instead of rain soaked streets, we explore dusty Thai tourist promenades there is a sense of corruption, of a seething underworld and Braddock is sufficiently psychologically torn to satisfy Howard Hawks and oh yes, of course there is a beautiful femme fatale or two The details of the mystery aspect are laid out into a delicate puzzle and then adeptly re assembled we are never left hanging The pace of Everyone Burns is brisk and entirety engaging Much skill has been demonstrated to compel the reader through such an iconic landscape and Mr Dolan has done the genre he reinterprets a gentle poetic justice This book is for the avid reader of mystery or for those who simply yearn to explore the underworld of a foreign land and to follow an anti heroic guide along a labyrinth of corruption, murder and deception It is a highly engaging existential puzzle box.

  5. says:

    Everyone Burns by John Dolan is set in Thailand and he does a great job of bringing the book s setting and environment to life Against that backdrop, he proceeds to tell a tale of a double murder through a cast of great characters led by his eccentric, irreverent protagonist, David Braddock Braddock is an extremely flawed individual and Dolan lets this element play out against a Buddhist monk in a wonderful counterpoint Their interactions were both touching and very funny and, for me, some one of the book s high points.Mr Dolan has a sharp voice and style Fans of John Burdett s Sonchai Jitpleecheep series, like me, will enjoy Everyone Burns Where Burdett will often turn philosophical and melancholy, Dolan is prone to head towards the irreverent and funny This approach serves him well and is definitely in his strike zone But like Burdett, Dolan knows how to tell a great story and I really enjoyed how the story unfolded and tension mounted.I highly recommend this book without reservation Well done, Mr Dolan I m very much looking forward to the next installment.

  6. says:

    Where do I start First scene Bar fight, bar fight, bar fight I have so many comments and questions for this author John, what do they use besides rubber hoses I totally agree with Wayan s take on Alice in Wonderland That will be explained when you read the book The story begins with PI counselor David Braddock who has moved to a small island in Thailand He tracks down unfaithful girlfriends and occasionally gives marriage counseling He has a penchant for cracking on his clients but being discreet is his creed Without it, he wouldn t last on this tiny island.I guarantee, when you read this book and you get to the part where you learn about the lead character, David, an eyebrow will raise, you ll cover your mouth with your hand and say, Whoops David is a cad but a generous, lovable cad.I really enjoyed David s escapades through the land of Thai when he is convinced to aid the chief with a murder mystery Is the chief soliciting David s help because he s setting him up or is does he really need the assistance of the PI psychotherapist These are just some of the things that make you go, Hmmm Read the detective s story along with a great cast of side characters with enjoyable and hilarious dialog, which helps move the story along with top notch detective work, some giggles and wonderful depictions of Buddhists Temples and island scenery If I ever visit, I will remember to not drink the coffee Get ready for a roller coaster ride of emotions, cause it s going to be bumpy John Dolan has done a great job and I thank him for letting us readers be a part of his world.

  7. says:

    Everyone burns says Buddha, and that certainly applies to this brilliant reinvention of the noir detective mystery thriller Move over Raymond Chandler and Mickey Spillane, we now have John Dolan who sets a small Thailand island, sorry for that, on fire with political intrigue, grisly serial murders, unfaithful wives and husbands, gangsters, bent cops and just about the sleaziest detective ever Said detective is David Braddock, down on his luck with work and women, who spends his time dirtying his hands and soul with the unsavoury aspects of humanity.But when the chief of police invites Braddock, well not really inviting, a stern demand or you will be deported kind of request, to help solve a grisly series of murders, the detective is thrust into a situation that could very well find his own body lying in a side street with its throat slit wide open Braddock is way beyond sleaze, in fact he makes sleaze the new black with his love em and leave em philosophy, but then surprises with his genuine acts of kindness such as restoring at his own expense an old man s eyesight This Braddock is one helluva conundrum surrounded by an assortment of human detritus which he manipulates, cajoles and bends to at whim to suit whatever agenda suits him best.Does Braddock solve the murder case I ain t gonna tell you, so there Read this slimy FIVE STAR GUMSHOE PIECE OF PULP FICTION and if you know how to whistle BLOW

  8. says:

    Hugely entertaining Everyone Burns has something for everyone Humour, drama, a likeable lead character, a deep knowledge and understanding of Thailand and a few lessons in Buddhism along the way.I guessed the ending several times and got it wrong every time Some nice twists and turns in a setting for which I have a particular affection.This is clearly the first in a series and I started to look for the sequel as soon as I hit the last page No higher compliment.

  9. says:

    Everyone Burns takes place in Thailand, a country I know well, and Mr Dolan knows better His attention to setting, language, and the accurate depiction of the Thai people drew me in from the start.A cast of eccentric characters kept me riveted to the story, and none was eccentric than protagonist, David Braddock He roams the island of Samui as a farang foreigner but is intimately familiar with the culture, working as a private investigator and pseudo therapist He s a smartass with a razor sharp intuition and a cocky son of a bitch with a heart a stand up guy despite his shortcomings.His encounters are discreet, honest, and oftentimes laugh out loud funny It s during these interactions where Mr Dolan s prose shines Quick and witty dialogue helps the reader uncover the layers of a series of murders.Though David Braddock could easily have become a caricature of any number of wisecracking main characters, Mr Dolan does a few things to anchor his protagonist 1 He sets the story in Thailand the Land of Smiles where even the hardest of men would succumb to some of its charm and magical mysticism 2 He creates an endearing relationship with David and a monk who becomes his moral compass, his superego, or a yin to his yang Whatever he is, their relationship is a strong, complex union of two men not often found in fiction 3 He presents David Braddock as a flawed human being, someone we may not like but can certainly relate to Despite his failings as a man, he is still someone you d call if you were in trouble and needed to be bailed out.Though I m not usually a fan of the first person POV, in thrillers, it makes for an intimate and memorable tale so long as the narrator has a strong voice Mr Dolan has certainly created such a character with David Braddock.I m happy to say Everyone Burns is the first in a series I look forward to many books from Mr Dolan.

  10. says:

    Everyone Burns by John Dolan is a must read in every sense of the word A good looking, charming PI on an island of beauty, that runs both an investigative service and a counseling service, while juggling women, mystery and murder I was hooked in an instant.Surrounded in the lush beauty of Thailand, and intermixed in the local society, politics, and spirituality, this story focuses on one man s journey to find the truth Through the intermixing of storylines, we are led down a wonderful path of intermixed, complex relationships between murder, infidelity, powerful and dangerous men, and the human psyche With characters that are well developed, a location clearly defined, and a plot that is cleverly orchestrated, this book keeps you engaged until the very end.I found myself loving David Braddock a charming, yet wounded man, with his own personal demons I found his imperfections to be believable and relatable, and his insecurities, and inner dialogue refreshing and honest Dolan has made his characters real in their actions, interactions, and leaps of growth I can only rave about how amazing this book is It is well written, gritty, thoughtful, and provocative A definite must read