THE SINGAPORE SCHOOL OF VILLAINY by Shamini Flint

THE SINGAPORE SCHOOL OF VILLAINY

Inspector Singh Investigates

KIRKUS REVIEW

There's no dearth of suspects when a lawyer is murdered.

Singapore police inspector Singh enjoys an orderly, civilized breakfast with his chatty wife. Singh is unquestionably a brilliant detective, but because he's off-puttingly formal in his interactions and physically squat to boot, the advancement that would gratify Mrs. Singh to no end eludes him. Across town later that day, Mark Thompson, senior partner at Hutchinson & Rice, steels himself with alcohol before tackling an unspecified problem. The following day, Thompson's protégé, Annie, on edge after her father makes another long-distance request for money, enters the boss' office with her colleague Quentin and finds Thompson dead. Singh arrives in short order, trailed by a line of uniformed policemen. After a thorough search of the office, Singh visits Mrs. Thompson (more grateful that her children are safe than distressed that her husband is dead), who energetically accuses Mark's ex-wife Sarah. Gathering his team, Singh lays out his plan for the investigation, then meets with the nervous Hutchinson & Rice senior partner and a flock of phlegmatic suspects, and, as usual, Superintendent Chen keeps a close eye on Singh to make sure he continues to toe the mundane line rather than play dramatic detective. Singh complies by serving as the new mentor to inexperienced Cpl. Fong, who gets elaborately nauseated at the site of his first autopsy.

Faithfully recreating the conventions and pacing of vintage Asian-sleuth whodunits, Singh's third (A Bali Conspiracy Most Foul, 2011, etc.) should satisfy traditionalists, offering a solid mystery.

Pub Date: July 17th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-312-59699-6
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2012




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