Thursday, July 19, 2012

A new series: Jimm Juree

I definitely enjoyed Colin Cotterill's first series, the Dr. Siri Paiboun mysteries, so I was prepared to be as delighted by this new protagonist Jimm Juree, a crime reporter wannabe, whose mother relocates the family from a big city to the boondocks.  My hopes may have been set too high.

Cotterill gives us a quirky cast of characters: Grandpa, a retired traffic cop; Siss, the transgendered beauty queen who used to be her brother, and who now runs a dubious online company; a rather addled mother who tries to relocate the entire family from a bustling city to a rural nowhere because there's a nice place to live; and a body-building baby brother who tries in vain to keep Jimm on the moral high road. I'm going to have to reserve judgement on them ...they just didn't do enough for me (except for Grandpa) to make me jump for joy and say "WOW- he's done it again!"  There is certainly plenty of room to develop this new group of loonies.  The setting, modern day Thailand, also needs much more filling out.

Cotterill delights us with quotes from George W. Bush as openers for each chapter, beginning with
Families is where our nation finds hope.  Where wings take dream
 George W Bush LaCrosse Wisc 10/18/2000
 And ending with
Rarely is the question asked: "Is our children learning?"  
George W Bush  Florence SC 2/1/2000
At first we scratch our head, trying to figure out what they have to do with anything.  Later we are given the explanation of why "W" is featured, but I won't spoil it for you.  It isn't until the beginning of Chapter 8 that we get some inkling about the title of the book:
"Free societies are hopeful societies. And free societies will be allies against these hateful few who have no conscience, who kill at the whim of a hat."
George W. Bush Washington DC, 17 September 2004
There are three crimes Jimm is trying to report on (solve?)--two skeletons found buried in a VW van, a dead dog (poisoned? by whom?) and a brutally murdered monk.   These three stories were quite disjointed, and I kept wondering if they were related, if they were crimes at all, and what they had to do with the story at any given time.  At least there is a really fun "fairy" police officer who helps Jimm sort things out.

I just received the second in this series as an audio to review from the publisher.  Based on Cotterill's reputation, and my previous enjoyment of his stories, I'm willing to give this series room to grow, but I'm not going to go much past #2 unless I can get a better feel for this cast of characters, more Thai culture and history, and a less disjointed plot. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping for the best, so that maybe, as GWB says at the beginning of Chapter 13
They misunderestimated me.
 George W Bush Bentonville AK 11/6/2000

Author: Colin Cotterill
Publisher-Format: Minotaur Books (2011), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 384 pages
Subject: Murder, crime reporting
Setting: Southern Thailand
Series: Jimm Juree
Genre: murder mystery, investigative reporter
Source: public library


  1. Even if I didn't like the story or the characters, I would be laughing all the way through at "W's" quotes. I actually miss the way he misused the English language - although not the way he governed.

    1. Well said Barbara..I agree about the quotes. I actually jotted them all down in a list-- they do make good quotes. I'm wondering whether he's going to follow up in book two with more of them???


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