Vulture Peak (2012) is the fifth installment of the Thai Police Detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep mystery series by John Burdett. I have been reading Robert Huges' brilliant, dense and long history of Australia, The Fatal Shore, and felt the need for something lighter for a break--so I chose to read this after 400 pages of the former. I mostly enjoy Burdett's books for the exotic locales and here there's lots of that since there are forays from Bangkok to Phuket, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Monte Carlo. However, I have to say that the dialogue was really bothering me this time around. The characters started to blend together as their styles of speaking were rendered too similar and intelligent sounding as well as using some of the same verbal ticks, like using "HiSo" for "high society." I also feel that most of the dialogue is used as exposition to give information about characters or plot or to expound the author's facile opinions on western society, capitalism, and other topics. Burdett stoops to giving wikipedia definitions twice in the novel--laziness? Is there no way to explain it in conversation? His American stereotypes continue to irritate me as well, all of the political advisers in the novel are amoral American opportunists. There are science fiction/fantastical elements to the novel, not unlike Bangkok Tattoo, that are not my cup of tea. I think I might skip the next installment of the series and focus on more accomplished mystery writers like Charles Willeford, James Ellroy, Elmore Leonard, and Patricia Highsmith.