26 November, 2013

#BookReview :: A Calamitous Chinese Killing (Inspector Singh Investigates #6) by Shamini Flint

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.

Though this is the sixth book in the series, this is my first time reading a Shamini Flint book. The books in the Inspector Singh Series are standalones and can be read as such, but I wish I had started with book one. It would have been an enjoyable experience to see Inspector Singh’s character develop right from the beginning.

Inspector Singh is the best of Singapore Law Enforcement – well at least according to him. So when a bloody death rocks the Singapore Embassy in China, Inspector Singh is the one handling this case. As he travels to China to investigate, he discovers that the son of an Embassy Official has been murdered and the bludgeoned body was found in a back alley in Beijing. While the Chinese official’s claim that it is a robbery gone bad, the victim’s mother is convinced otherwise. What is supposed to be a simple murder case, soon turns into something much more sinister including organ harvesting, environmental issues and gang wars. To make things even more difficult, the local politics is a force to contend with.

Like I said at the very beginning, it would have been fun to have read the books in order so as to see the character of Inspector Singh develop from early on. He is not what one expects from a lead detective in a mystery novel. He is short, fat man who enjoys his food and drinks equally. He is also very unorthodox in his approach and course of action. I was taken aback at first, but then the character grew on me pretty quickly. The cast of this story has a minimum number of characters and to keep all the surprise elements of the story intact, I will only say that while the group is small, it still offers a variety in flavor. The plot is also simple and thus for a hardcore mystery fanatic like me, it was pretty obvious after a while, especially since there weren’t many twists in the story. The author rounds up her work with simple language and narrative style that balances the story well.

It was fun to stumble across China with Inspector Singh and watch his unorthodox methods bring justice.

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1 comment:

  1. Great review! I've read book 1 and 2 in this series and I really enjoyed it.