|About the Book|
To Cook A Spider - SynopsisTo Cook a Spider is an unconventional love story set in provincial Cambodia.Recently retired British entrepreneur Don Oake accepts an invitation from his old schoolmate George Defaux to visit him in Battambang, Cambodia,MoreTo Cook A Spider - SynopsisTo Cook a Spider is an unconventional love story set in provincial Cambodia.Recently retired British entrepreneur Don Oake accepts an invitation from his old schoolmate George Defaux to visit him in Battambang, Cambodia, where the latter owns a hotel, La Maison, with his wife Marie and daughter Sophea. Arriving at the hotel, Don is surprised to discover that his friend is not there to meet him.As he awaits George’s return, Don starts to fall in love with the wife of his best friend. On a trip to the capital Phnom Penh, Don is struck blind and flown to Bangkok for immediate medical care. While Don learns that there is a grave chance he might lose his sight, George returns from a few weeks of debauchery on Cambodia’s south coast. It is only upon Don’s return from Bangkok, that the two friends reunite.The reunion is fleeting, with George once more leaving his wife and best friend to their own devices. While George works in an English pub in Phnom Penh, Don and Marie discover a shared passion for food and set upon re-designing La Maison’s menu, as well as developing a cookbook.The two friends’ lives diverge again, as George becomes further disillusioned with his existence, Don discovers an unexpected talent for the culinary art. As Don and Marie grow increasingly close, she slowly unburdens her unhappy life story from her birth in a refugee camp in Thailand to the sudden disappearance of the one true love in her life, a Liberian refugee whom she met in Paris.To Cook A Spider concludes with the sudden reappearance of George at La Maison with murderous intent.Starting with a light-hearted tone, To Cook A Spider grows darker as it moves from friendship, through love, betrayal, prostitution, to blackmail and murder. It demonstrates the Jekyll and Hyde nature of expat life and the pitfalls that it is all too easy for outsiders in the Kingdom to fall into. At the same time it also presents a positive vision of hope – the cookbook that Don, Marie and their Cambodian chef Seiha develop is a project full of promise that eventually comes to fruition.The main characters are Don, Marie, George, Seiha, Inspector Satya (who investigates the murder) and Gary (a friend of George’s in Phnom Penh).The title is both literal, in that crispy tarantulas is one of the menus in the cookbook, and metaphorical for in order to survive Don and Marie have to learn how to outwit George.