- this edition published by Piatkus in 2016
- ISBN 978-0-349-40272-7
- 359 pages
- #7 in the Inspector Singh series
- source: my local library
Inspector Singh is irate. He's been instructed to attend a Commonwealth conference on policing in London: a job for paper pushers, not real cops, as far as he is concerned.
And as if that isn't bad enough, his wife is determined to come along to shop for souvenirs and visit previously unknown relatives.
But it isn't long before the cold case that lands on Singh's ample lap turns into a hot potato and he has to outwit Scotland Yard, his wife and London's finest criminals to prevent more frightful executions from occurring on his watch - or indeed, from being added to their number.
Inspector Singh is not quite sure why he has been chosen to attend the Commonwealth conference on policing in London, but he expects it to be a waste of time.
On arrival he is dismayed to find he has been assigned to consider the role that community relations played in the investigation of an unsolved cold case five years old. This is particularly because the cold case is not being re-opened, but Singh and an assigned policewoman are only required to present a report on how investigators interacted with the community. From the beginning Inspector Singh protests that there can only be one reason for looking at a cold case - solving it. The case is a gruesome one: a young Indian woman was killed and aspects of the case were not released to the press.
Singh tries to conduct the enquiry as if it is a contemporary case, interviewing relatives, visiting the crime scene and so on. And that is where he is discovered by a policeman looking at a recent murder which has considerable similarity to the cold case.
Mrs Singh has gone to London with him, and, for the first time, decides to help Singh by following up on leads that he doesn't have time to investigate himself. She involves a cousin living in London, and eventually disappears.
A number of contemporary issues surface in this book: money laundering, jihadist revolutionaries and more. In some ways Singh is as usual, stumbling inadvertently across the truth, but in others he seems a little more assured. I think this series would make the basis of excellent television.
Very enjoyable reading.
I have discovered that I have missed reading #6 in the series, A CALAMITOUS CHINES KILLING, and really need to catch up there.
My rating: 4.7
I have also read
4.2, A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder
4.5, A BALI CONSPIRACY MOST FOUL
4.5, A MOST CURIOUS INDIAN CADAVER
4.6, A DEADLY CAMBODIAN CRIME SPREE
THE SINGAPORE SCHOOL OF VILLAINY