Tom Vater

Crime fiction writer, journalist, publisher

Tom Vater is a writer working predominantly in Asia.
He has published three crime novels and is the co-owner of Crime Wave Press, a Hong Kong based crime fiction imprint.
He writes for publications like The Wall Street Journal, The Times, The Guardian, The Nikkei Asian Review, CNN, Marie Claire, The Diplomat, Geographical, and Penthouse and has published some twenty non-fiction books, including the best-selling Sacred Skin.
He is The Daily Telegraph‘s destination expert for Thailand and has authored several guidebooks on Thailand and Cambodia.
He is the co-author of three documentary screenplays, including the highly praised The Most Secret Place On Earth, a feature on the CIA’s secret war in Laos.
Tom works as a consultant for a range of organizations providing background on the political, cultural and social landscape of Thailand, Cambodia, Nepal and India.
He is represented by London-based literary agency Marjacq.



Feature Stories

Nikkei Asian Review

India's 'Middle Kingdom' faces winds of change

KAZA, India -- "There are more cars than potatoes now" sighs Chhering Angrup, slowly turning a prayer wheel below a framed portrait of the Dalai-Lama at his home in Kaza, the...

Nikkei Asian Review

Darjeeling's tea king wants an organic agricultural revolution

Life is chaos; the world is chaos, according to Rajah Banerjee. "The only constant is change. What are we doing here and where are we going? We need to answer these questions to...


A Prison Encounter With Charles Sobhraj, Asia's Most Infamous Serial Killer: CriMemoir by Tom Vater

Tom Vater's latest book, The Monsoon Ghost Image is the third in his series featuring Detective Maier, the Asia-specialist for a German detective firm (after The Cambodian Book...

CNN Travel

Vang Vieng, Laos: From party capital to eco-adventure paradise

Like the spine of a sleeping dragon, dramatic limestone mountains rise above the luscious paddy fields of central (CNN) - Laos. In the middle of it all, you'll find Vang Vieng....

(Crime) Fiction

Crime Wave Press

The Monsoon Ghost Image

In the wake of 9 11, Detective Maier finds himself in Thailand, thrust into the heart of the United States’ War on Terror and the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program. From...

Crime Wave Press / Exhibit A

The Cambodian Book of the Dead

As soon as Maier, detective and former war reporter, arrives in Cambodia, his journey leads into the darkest corners of the country’s history.

Exhibit A/Crime Wave Press

The Man With the Golden Mind

Detective Maier is sent to Laos to find a legendary CIA file crammed with Cold War secrets.

Crime Wave Press

The Devil's Road to Kathmandu

A saga of sex, drugs and murder on the road between London and the Indian subcontinent.

Illustrated Books

Visionary World Publishing

Sacred Skin | Thailand's Spirit Tattoos

A beautifully illustrated book introducing the mysterious world of sak yant, spirit tattoos said to bestow protective powers upon their bearers.

Visionary World Publishing

Burmese Light - Impressions of the Golden Land

Behind the Bamboo Curtain: a journey through a fascinating country slowly but steadily emerging from a long period of involuntarily isolation.

Purple Moon Publications

Cambodia: A Journey through the Land of the Khmer

A trip through the history and landscape of Cambodia introducing the country's people, culture and colorful festivals.

Documentary & Publishing


Crime Wave Press

Asia's only independent English language crime fiction imprint! 25 books published, from Asian noir to historical crime fiction.


Kumbh Mela - The Greatest Show on Earth

In the footsteps of Alok Sharma, the top policeman in charge of the Maha Kumbh Mela in India, the largest gathering of people on planet earth, ever!


The Most Secret Place on Earth - The CIA's Covert War in Laos

The CIA's secret war in Laos, as told by protagonists on both sides, including State Department officials and Hmong general Vang Pao.

Travel Guides

The Daily Telegraph

Bangkok destination expert

Bangkok City Break Guide. Songkran celebrations, restaurants, hotels, nightlife, shopping, unspoilt islands, festivals and events.