Tunnel Vision, Jimmy Thomson
TUNNEL VISION is the follow up novel to PERFECT CRIMINALS which unleashed Danny Clay and his neighbour, friend, sidekick, he would / if she would romantic interest, Zan on the world. Danny's an ex-army sapper, now scriptwriter, veteran of many battles - in war and peace. Zan's the daughter of Vietnamese refugees in Australia - she comes with highly specialised food finding skills and a lack of extensive spoken Vietnamese. She is, however, very good in the role of faithful sidekick capable of launching a bit of a kicking (even if it's frequently mostly verbal). Needless to say this second outing for these two maintains the pace, the slightly crazy brave stuff, and an interesting plot set mostly in Vietnam this time.
Neither of these novels are particularly serious, although the central plot points veer that way on occasion. Both of these novels are also possibly best read in order - the backgrounds of the two central characters are pivotal to "getting them", and the events in Los Angeles that see them scurrying Vietnam way probably need explaining otherwise TUNNEL VISION might drive you a little bit bats at points. Not bats enough to let it stop you if getting the first novel under your belt is an issue.
This really is a lively, fun series, relying heavily on the characters of Danny and Zan and their interactions. They are great friends, and because of that you can't help but think that the possibility of romance between them that occasionally rears it's head could make things get ugly. You'd hate to think that a romantic bust up would be the end of such a great crime fiction partnership - obviously one on the manic, fun side of the equation.
The setting for TUNNEL VISION is mostly Vietnam, although Zan does find herself back in Australia at one point, and the supporting cast of characters is a nice mix of locals, and a few ex-army types who never lost their connection to the country post the Vietnam War. There's also a decidedly dodgy senior official, a missing young girl, a body in a canal and the uncomfortable possibility of a very annoyed sun bear somewhere in the city. There's a lot of eating, there's a lot of spying and following people around, and what starts out as Danny and Zan trying to help out an old army mate of his, rapidly gets them involved in the mysterious death of the woman found in the canal, and how on earth it could be connected to the disappearance of a young girl - the daughter of another local government representative.
Good plot, great characters and a very realistic feeling setting, combined with a dry, laid back style of delivery, the Danny Clay series is one worth looking out for.
Chaos seems to follow Danny and Zan.
After narrowly avoiding a sticky end in Los Angeles, they escape to Vietnam to help out an old army mate of Danny's and explore a new TV-writing project. But soon they become entangled in a web of mysteries: their friend is being poisoned, a government official's daughter has disappeared, a mysterious body has been found in a canal, and there's a bloodthirsty sun bear somewhere in the city.
It all seems to revolve around one powerful man, and he has Danny and Zan in his sights. They've got to get on the front foot if they're going to walk out of this mess.
Tunnel Vision sees fever-pitched adventure collide with sharply witty, pacey dialogue as Danny Clay and his (almost) faithful sidekick navigate the corrupt world lurking beneath Saigon's crowded streets.