A New York publisher who once served in Thailand during the Vietnam War receives a plea for help from his late brother’s Thai widow. When he returns to Thailand after 20 years he finds that the nostalgic portrait he carried of Thailand Past bears little resemblance to reality, and he begins to uncover deception, danger and death.
Scenes in the novel range from Manhattan’s Greenwich Village to a typhoon-ravaged Hong Kong to Thailand’s notorious nightlife and warlord betrayals inside the Golden Triangle. A gripping mystery and exotic thriller, it is also the story of a man coming to terms with reality and with himself.
“An exciting thriller...A gripping mystery documenting Dean Barrett as a writer in full possession of his craft.” - The Midwest Book Review
“A tantalizing taste of a culture, worlds apart from our own. Dean Barrett paints a sharp, clear picture of the reality of life. Very Highly Recommended.” - Under the Covers Book Review
“Kingdom of Make-Believe captures a slice of Thailand as it really is -- and was. The novel could only have been written by one who has experienced the Kingdom – and felt the pangs of seeing its magic mirrors crack and shatter.” -Denis Gray, Chief of Bureau, AP, Bangkok
Barrett’s prose is spare, but his images are rich: a winning combination....His obvious intimate knowledge of Thailand combined with a very considerable writing talent make Kingdom of Make-Believe a tough book to put down.” - January Magazine
Dean Barrett first arrived in Asia as a Chinese linguist with the Army Security Agency during the Vietnam War. He returned to the United States and received his Masters Degree in Asian Studies from the University of Hawaii. He has lived in Asia for over 30 years, 17 of those years in Hong Kong. His writing on Asian themes has won several awards including the PATA Grand Prize for Excellence.
Barrett is the author of several novels set in Asia, including Memoirs of a Bangkok Warrior; Hangman’s Point – A novel of Hong Kong; Kingdom of Make-Believe: A novel of Thailand; Permanent Damage - three novellas with Chinese themes; Don Quixote in China: The Search for Peach Blossom Spring; and A Love Story: The China Memoirs of Thomas Rowley, an erotic manuscript set in 1862 China. His New York novel, Murder in China Red, is set in Manhattan starring a Chinese detective from Beijing. Other novels include detective novels set in Thailand: Skytrain to Murder and Permanent Damage.
He first became interested in China’s boat people in the 1970’s and wrote the text for a photobook on them entitled Aberdeen: Catching the Last Rays. Several of his plays have been staged in New York City and elsewhere and his musical set in Hong Kong, Fragrant Harbour, was selected by the National Alliance for Musical Theater to be staged on 42nd Street.
Before returning to live in Thailand Barrett was a member of: Mystery Writers of America; Dramatists Guild; Private Eye Writers of America, BMI - librettist/lyricist.read more