Shamini Flint

Inspector Singh Investigates

"..multi-cultural, exciting and haphazard Kuala Lumpur is vividly portrayed in this story. "


Inspector Singh is a rotund, untidy and dedicated detective in Singapore. He is sent to Kuala Lumpur to support a Singapore national, Chelsea Liew, who has been accused of murdering her husband of twenty years. Political considerations mean that Chelsea, a high profile model, must be seen to be treated fairly and that is why the powers that be in Singapore have dispatched Inspector Singh to ensure that all is done to protect a citizen, albeit one who was married to a successful Malaysian businessman. It is not a popular assignment and that is why Singh has been assigned to it. He is not liked by the hierarchy for his awkward ways and disregard for rules. He is focused on finding the criminal, not playing a political game.

On arrival in Kuala Lumpur, he makes contact with the Malaysian police and they establish a working relationship that, at least with some members, comes to involve mutual respect.

Chelsea Liew had been married to Alan Lee for twenty years and had three sons. She had sued her husband for divorce, citing abuse and adultery. In a last minute bombshell Alan had revealed his conversion to Islam. This meant that in Malaysian law any children would have to be brought up by a practising Muslim, and this would make it impossible for Chelsea to keep the children without herself converting. Chelsea was furiously angry and vowed to kill |him for this. When Alan is murdered, she is the obvious suspect. But Inspector Singh's stubborn investigation discovers many undercurrents and family power struggles. He doggedly continues to support Chelsea, and discovers the truth and indulges in a bit of unconventional behaviour to ensure that justice is done.

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The atmosphere of multi-cultural, exciting and haphazard Kuala Lumpur is vividly portrayed in this story. The strong descriptions of the life and people, contrasted by Singh to the regulated and too perfect life in Singapore is the aspect of this story which makes it stand out from the rest. Obviously written by an insider who knows both Kuala Lumpur and Singapore very well, there is the feeling that we too can experience life in this exotic part of the world. Inspector Singh is an interesting hero, and we are able to follow his thought processes and his overall common sense. The subject matter is very up to date, involving the development and destruction of the rain forests of Borneo. I enjoyed this book and look forward to hearing more exploits of Inspector Singh.

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