By People Staff
December 10, 1979 12:00 PM

by Thomas Thompson

Following the success of Blood and Money, a true tale of violent death in Texas, Thompson has journeyed to Asia to uncover the chilling story of a Saigon-born alleged killer named Charles Sobhraj. In 1975-76, police say, Sobhraj was responsible for the disappearance of at least a dozen tourists who were “strangled and stabbed and burned and drowned, tossed down from the paradisiacal beaches of Thailand to the awesome slopes of the Himalayas to beside the holy River Ganges.” The portrait of Sobhraj—smooth, ingenious and warped almost beyond comprehension—is compelling. Serpentine is a prodigy of reporting, and though the murder accounts may churn the stomach, Thompson establishes himself as the best crime writer now practicing. (Doubleday, $12.95)