Hotel Kerobokan, Kathryn Bonella

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Hotel Kerobokan is the name given to Bali's most notorious jail by its inmates. The prison contains of male and female prisoners of various nationalities. Inside Kerobokan Prison, it's a bizarre and frightening underworld of sex, drugs, corruption and violence.

Kerobokan Prison's squalid cells have been home to several infamous criminals such as the Bali Bombers, Schapelle Corby, the Bali Nine, Chris Parker and a lot more. Petty thieves share cells with murderers, rapists, drug dealers, and gangsters. Hotel Kerobokan's inmates share their experiences and stories about their prison life which involves of corrupted guards, violent prisoners, drug business, and freedom which can be bought with money. Anything can be organised by corrupt guards for the prisoners who have cash to pay – including a fully catered Italian jail wedding, or a luxury cell upgrade. Hotel Kerobokan exposes the jail's role in supplying high-grade drugs to the outside, the jail's ecstasy factory, the killings made to look like suicides, the escapes, and the days out at the beach. High profile prisoners can sleep at home at night and return to the jail the next day. The term of imprisonment can be reduced if the offender has the capability to pay for it.

I had added this book in my reading list since last year. This book is far better than my expectations. I'm not surprised with the stories about corruption told by the author in this book. Corruption is one of the most common problems in Southeast Asia. If you come from any of Southeast Asian countries, you won't feel surprised with the stories of corruption happening in any countries within the region. But I do feel shocked with the seriousness of the corruption in Indonesia after reading this book. I couldn't believe it was so corrupted in the jail to the extent that prisoners can supply drugs to the outside and even can walk out from the prison everyday to enjoy their short freedom. I would highly recommend this book to anyone especially true crime readers.

Rating: ★★★★★
More reviews can be found on Goodreads: Hotel Kerobokan.

Chin Yee

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