As you travel to foreign countries, you probably always ask yourself - do people of these other cultures think the same way we do, even though they speak a separate language? Don't they value the same things we do, have the same sense of right and wrong, and so on? It's tempting to think so. Burdett consistently puts the lie to that - even writing as an American. His hero Sonchai consistently exposes us to a human, but alien, value system, yet it's close enough to ours to that we can relate to it, even if we might not share it.
Or as Sonchai says:
Do not judge me too harshly, farang (foreigner). (You know how you are.) In the wasteland where narrative rots, Good Thief may be the highest aspiration. Let he who is without karma cast the first stone.
Filled with an intriguing and shocking mystery, the atmosphere of Thailand, nearly pornographic descriptions of the food of Thailand, and an exotic excursion to Tibet, I can't recommend this book highly enough.