The fourth in the series about the corpulent, chain-smoking, likeable inspector from Singapore’s police service is set against the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.
Inspector Singh is in Cambodia, wishing he wasn’t. He has been sent as an observer to the international war crimes tribunal in Phnom Penh in the latest effort by his superiors to ensure that he is anywhere except in Singapore. But for the first time the fat Sikh inspector finds himself on the verge of losing his appetite, when a key member of the tribunal is murdered in cold blood. The authorities are determined to write off the incident as a random act of violence, but Singh thinks otherwise. It isn’t long before he finds himself caught up in one of the most terrible murder investigations he’s witnessed, the roots of which lie in the dark depths of the Cambodian killing fields.
Summary (from Goodreads):
Inspector Singh is back, but this time on secondment to Bali. A bomb has exploded and Singh has been sent to help with anti-terrorism efforts. But there’s a slight problem: he knows squat about hunting terrorists. He’s much better suited to solving murder! So when a body is discovered in the wreckage, killed by a bullet before the bomb went off, Singh should be the one to find the answers – especially with the help of a wily Australian copper by his side. But simple murders are never as simple as they seem – and this one has far-reaching global consequences.
Inspector Singh’s expertise is required in China in his sixth adventure, as he battles political intrigue to get to the bottom of a very murky and complex crime. Inspector Singh is on a mission to China, against his better judgment. The son of a bigwig at the Singapore Embassy has been bludgeoned to death in a back alley in Beijing. The Chinese security insist that he was the victim of a robbery gone wrong, but the young man’s mother demands that Singapore’s finest (in his own opinion) rides to the rescue. But solving a murder in a country that practices socialism “with Chinese characteristics” is a dangerous business, and it soon becomes apparent that getting to the bottom of this calamitous killing will be his toughest case yet.
Okay, so you must have realized, dear reader, that the novels above are not listed in order. This is because I didn’t read the books in order because these books don’t need to be read in order. I chose to begin with these because I’ve visited one place and want to desperately visit the other two.
Inspector Singh is introduced in detail in each book – his eating habits (love of curries and beer), issues with his wife, the difficult relationship with his boss, and his love of white sneakers. This way, the reader is introduced to (first timers) and reminded (returning readers) of all that makes Inspector Singh, Inspector Singh. Each novel is focused on a crime that has many twists and turns leading to an unexpected resolution.
Inspector Singh is larger than life and jumps off the page, the settings are researched and described in detail, but the writing could be a little tighter. However, I have enjoyed the three mysteries I have read so far, and will most definitely read the rest. Recommended.