Inspector Singh, the portly detective from Singapore is in Cambodia, once again “kicked” by his boss out of his way on a “watching” assignment to overlook the trial of ex-Khmer Rouge. But can crime be kept out of his way? Definitely not.
Inspector Singh is embroiled in a crime once again when a key witness is murdered in the premises of the courthouse undermining the entire war crime trial. Inspector Singh teams with Colonel Menhay, the security in charge of the court to solve the crime. Helped by his interpreter, Chhean, dogged and straight shooter, he races against time to absolve the war trial.
Full marks to Ms. Flint for handling Cambodia’s troubled past so well. The subject is so sensitive and the wounds run so deep that a slight mishap could have been a disaster for the book. But she has handled the topic with the consideration and empathy it deserves.
The mystery is Agatha Christisque in style. A Common backdrop (courthouse in this case), six to eight suspects with motive and opportunity. Inspector Singh also reminds you of Poirot and Marple in his approach as he delves more about the psychology of the murder in spite of the leg work involved.
However I felt the solution to the crime was a bit fragmented as the suspicion kept jumping from one suspect to another. Also the arrests and release of one suspect after another seemed to me bit engineered rather than natural and the final revelation was relatively dud.
Though this is the 4th book in the series, it’s the first read by me. I may be tempted to revisit this post after I read the other three books. But for the time being I am sticking to my rating. Read it though for Cambodia’s rich legacy and more recent unfortunate past.
Thank you for reading. I appreciate your time.
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