Excerpt from The Crocodile's Tail. A Thai Thriller.

The monk always paused before starting a new tattoo to pick up on the client's aura so he could choose the right design.  He felt an abnormal vibration coming from Alison.  Usually, farang women exuded different vibes from Thai women, but this one wasn't like other farang he had decorated.  She wasn't a lesbian.  He knew what they felt like.  The monk sensed this one required extra protection, so he picked a design for her that he had never used before on any woman, foreign or Thai.

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Excerpt from Red Star Over Pattaya. A Thriller.

Wawa sirens announce the approaching police.  A pair of dark red Royal Thai Police Isuzu D Max pickup trucks with white doors, red lights flashing, slide to a stop on the beach road.  Two cops leap out of each vehicle and charge toward Wilson trampling the chevron impressions in their haste.  So much for evidence, he thinks.  At least they aren't waving their service revolvers at me.

Wilson isn't quite sure what to do when the policemen — a major, a sergeant major and two constables — arrive in front of the chairs and their occupants.  So he rises from  his haunches, does the polite Thai thing and wais: He bows his head slightly, smiles, brings his palms together under his nose and says, "Sawadee klub."   It never hurts to show Thai police respect, he figures, especially when  you're standing next to two dead bodies.

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Excerpt from Zambezi River Bridge. A Thriller.

Steve Fuller twisted the thick ivory bracelet on his left wrist as he stepped back to examine his handiwork.  Pal, his Rhodesian Ridgeback pup, only a year old, but already two feet tall and weighing fifty pounds, lay at his feet.  The dog was strong and muscular.  His main purpose in life was to protect his master.

Lanky with dark curly hair, his face reddened by exertion and the African sun, Fuller was engaged in one of his favorite leisure time activities — attacking the vegetation that constantly threatened to engulf his home; cutting back the thorny vines, creepers and weeds strangling the small area of peace and calm he had created for himself in a hostile environment.

The mass of greenery was a huge thing with a trunk as thick as a tree.  Heavy-duty gloves protected his hands as he wielded a sharp bladed slasher, severing long tendrils that protruded like spiky tongues from the main body of the monster.  It had been there for many years and Steve knew it would outlast his occupation of the plot, but while he was there he was determined to control it.

The tropical sun was at its zenith.  He was wearing a floppy bush hat, khaki shorts and sandals.  Sweat streamed down his face and mingled with the blood from thorn scratches on his bare chest and arms.  The exercise was a tonic.  It felt good to loosen the broad shoulders and thick chest muscles of his two hundred pound body.

He watched carefully for snakes, especially vine snakes.  Their four-foot-long bodies could easily be mistaken for branches and their triangular shaped green heads were exact imitations of leaves.  They were poisonous, but being back-fangers rarely sank their jaws deep enough into a human victim to cause death.  Still, the threat was always there.

Thoughts of Joseph Conrad and Heart of Darkness came to Steve Fuller as he worked.  Being in Africa gave him the feeling that he had travelled back to the earliest beginnings of the earth when vegetation ran riot and the big trees were kings.  There was something of Voltaire in him too.  After all, he was only cultivating his garden, trying to mind his own business while keeping his life in order.  That had not always been easy.

Fuller lived alone with Pal and his cook, John Moyo, in a small house in the Lusaka suburb of Roma.  Besides cooking, John Moyo cleaned the house, washed Steve's clothes and polished the cement floors with red wax.  John's wife and family remained in their village in Rhodesia.  He went home twice a year to visit them.

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This book is about intolerance.  Excerpt from The Chinese Laundry:

Men gambled with their lives every day in the mines of the San Juan Mountains.  Miners wound up dead or crippled, torn and bleeding from accidents, mangled by dynamite blasts, crushed in cave-ins, mutilated in falls down mine shafts.  So it was natural for these impatient, gold and silver-hungry individuals to spend their leisure hours and their money gambling in Silverton's saloons.  Not only the miners, but everybody in town was preoccupied with gambling - tradesmen, merchants, mechanics, even Sheriff Matt O'Shea on occasion.

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Excerpt from Silverton Burning:

Sierra dug her paddle into the waves.  The craft hit a rock, but not forcefully enough to turn them over or tear a hole in the polyethylene hull.  She thought she would be frightened on the water and she was, but she felt exhilarated at the same time, alive and laughing with the wind flinging spray in her face.  It was like she and Jimmy, the kayak, the two paddles, the river and the noise were all moving swiftly as one to a new destination, a new life.

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Excerpt from Beyond the Marathon:

The excitement is building.  Full throttle adrenalin is spreading through my body creating that special pre-race feeling of overstimulation.  Runners talk about their training peaking for a particular race, and that's how I feel.  The fatigue and bad temper of the weeks of hard training are gone; they are replaced by nervousness, an inability to concentrate on anything that is not race-related, an excess of energy, an endorphin spillover, a desire to run the race NOW.

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Excerpt from Hardrock Fever:

At the pass the snow-covered trail follows the side of a cliff leading to Little Giant saddle.  To my right a steep grassy slope ends at the top of a sheer cliff that plummets hundreds of feet into a rocky basin.  A misstep on the icy surface could be fatal.  Footsteps of previous runners have sunk deep into the snowbank that has melted since last weekend when John, Helen and I were up here.  Tonight we cross the snow bridge quickly.

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Contact Bob directly at  to purchase copies of his books.

My academic books are:

Rural Labor in Southern Africa, No 24 of Rural Africana Series, editor,  Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI., 1974.

Malawi, World Bibliographical Series, Clio Press, Oxford, U.K., 1979.

Alfred Sharpe of Nyasaland,  The Society of Malawi, Blantyre, 1981.

Silent Majority. A History of the Lomwe of Malawi, The Africa Institute of South Africa, Pretoria, 1984.

In addition, I have published 12 scholarly articles, mostly on Malawi labor history.