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Hours after agreeing to marry How Kum, Vanita is murdered while asleep in her fiance's arms. More killings follow and How Kum is soon embroiled in the police investigation, only to find himself dealing with an unlikely brigade of self-proclaimed experts, including his drunken Uncle Oscar with his underworld links, the unlikely double-act of an American psycho-sexual healer ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published January 25th 1996 by Serpent's Tail
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I've been trying to sample the "Singaporean Writers" shelf at Clementi Public Library. (Apparently they are so short on local writers, they have to steal Malaysians to pad it out but anyway that's off topic.) Most of the books don't look like something I want to read, or have been simply disappointing upon reading, but this is a pretty good murder mystery. The narrator is a kind of naive/innocent hero, almost like an amnesiac or someone sleepwalking through life except for the passion he had for ...more
Given that this story includes police brutality, corruption and racism as well as the murders listed in the synopsis, it is no wonder that the writer is described as 'controversial'. There is also a ghost in this tale of letting go and masculine intuition. Parts of it are not for the squeamish, but it is definitely worth a read.
Gopal Baratham (Dr), prominent neurosurgeon and distinguished author of three novels, five volumes of short stories and a non-fiction book, was considered a literary light during his lifetime. His first book, the political thriller, A Candle or The Sun, won the Southeast Asia Write Award in 1991 and was short-listed for the Commonwealth Book Prize in 1992. One of the first Singapore writers to hav ...more