Much like the front cover, The Man with the Golden Mind offers a simple yet strong narrative, with a stylish slant to the dialogue and a dry humour that makes it a hard-hitting thriller not to be missed.
Bringing to life the rich culture and stunning natural beauty of its Cambodian setting, the novel has an atmospheric chill that draws the reader in. Incorporating characters from around the world, including German Detective Maier, last seen in his debut The Cambodian Book of the Dead, his second outing is begins with a quest to uncover the truth behind the death of an East German cultural attaché who was killed near a fabled CIA airbase in central Laos in 1976. Following the kidnapping of his client Maier is forced on a quest across the country as he unearths long buried secrets that could cost him his life and those of his associates.
Reviewer Terry Irving, in praising the novel, describes it as “the best of both. A great spy thriller wrapped around a real mystery and a real crime.” It could be argued that the novel is in fact the best of three genres; historical fiction, crime and spy fiction. By incorporating elements of each author Tom Vater highlights his versatility and skill, creating a compelling and exciting narrative that includes just enough fact to be compelling without being dreary.
Quintessentially this exhilarating read incorporates everything from lies and deception through to sex, betrayal and death, offering the reader an exercise in edge of your seat action combined with strong storytelling and believable characterisation.