- this edition published 2013 by Piatkus
- ISBN 978-0-7499-5799-7
- 309 pages
- #6 in the Inspector Singh series
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.
Inspector Singh again finds himself with an overseas posting. Not that he will have authority A crime has been committed against a Singaporean national in Beijing and he is being sent to represent Singaporean interests. The First Secretary at the Singapore embassy in Beijing has personally requested him. No one is suggesting that he will be able to solve the crime. In fact he suspects that his superiors are hopeful that his involvement will in some way be terminal and that he will not return to Singapore.
This series is a delightful read and this title is no exception. Throughout the series Singh's character has become stronger and I think he has become a better detective. In Beijing he is given a disgraced retired detective as his offsider and interpreter and between them they actually make a formidable pair. The setting is very topical because it involves land development in Beijing, the removal of century old hutongs and their replacement with modern buildings, but it also involves graft and corruption at the highest level even in the police force. In the background there is the handling of protest through re-education, and a sniff of other forms of corruption.
Singh steams on, sampling local cuisine with gusto, and following his intuition.
My rating: 4.5
I've also read
4.2, INSPECTOR SINGH INVESTIGATES, A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder
4.5, A BALI CONSPIRACY MOST FOUL
4.5, INSPECTOR SINGH INVESTIGATES: A MOST CURIOUS INDIAN CADAVER
4.6, INSPECTOR SINGH INVESTIGATES: A DEADLY CAMBODIAN CRIME SPREE
INSPECTOR SINGH INVESTIGATES: THE SINGAPORE SCHOOL OF VILLAINY
4.7, INSPECTOR SINGH INVESTIGATES, A FRIGHTFULLY ENGLISH EXECUTION