SINGAPORE by John Ball


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Polished prose is not this author's forte, but he knows how to run with a good plot--and this is one of his best. Pasadena's black homicide detective Virgil Tibbs is in Singapore at the request of Miriam Motamboru, widow of recently killed President of Bakara, an African nation with close US ties. In Singapore to deliver secret antiCommunist data, Miriam is being charged with murder in a seemingly airtight case. Having met Tibbs some years back (Then Came Violence), she's sure he can prove her innocence. Tibbs gets plenty of cooperation from the US Embassy and from the Singapore police, baffled at the moment by a case in which the children of hapless engineer Tan Khin Peow are being murdered one by one. Eventually, intensive questioning, heavy doses of logic, use of an Identikit and violent confrontation with a Russian superspy wind up the Motamboru case. And Tibb's methods prove equally successful when he's asked to help in the child-killing case. The romance between Miriam and Tibbs is stubbornly wooden, the writing style close to primer simplicity, but this is a fast, absorbing tale and the author's romance with Singapore comes through loud and clear.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1986
Publisher: Dodd, Mead