The lovely people from Muswell Hill press sent me a book by Neil Humphreys called Bloody Foreigners back in May. When I ready the description I did think its another detective novel- I need something different. It is different, in all the right ways Humphreys previous books have been published in Singapore and this is the first opportunity we have in the UK to read his work.
Detective Low from the Singaporean Police is in the UK to give a lecture, but soon finds himself in a murder investigation. It took me a while to warm up to Low, he’s a little odd, erratic and reminded me of someone and it took a while to work out who. If you ve watched Homeland you ll hopefully know who I’m talking about. Carrie; Great at her job, suffers from mental health problems which can lead to some really bad decision making, but equally provides a clarity on the case that noone else could see.
The storyline feels really topical right now, I started the book after I’d finished a stand up for race equality seminar at work and there were so many little snippets that stood out in this book it would be hard to identify 1, 2 or even a handful. There are some hard parts too which depict human behaviour well but at the same time can be sobering to imagine as a reader
As Low is brought into the investigation then kicked out of it we learn more about him and his past. His mistakes, and triumphs are a little overshadowed by the story leaving you wondering when they ll suddenly have more meaning then you realised at the time of reading.
There’s alot of detailed information in this book to take in along with the use of some Singaporean language that makes it feel a little grittier. I did enjoy learning a new phase that I know I ll have to because whos around when I say it from the pub scene too!
For those of you that are a frequent visitor here you’ll know that I try to write spolier free reviews – I dont want to go into that detail of the character’s growth, loss or drama because for me as a reader thats not what I look for in a review. I want to know the topic, If the characters are ones that you want to spend a good chunk of time with, and if there is a plot thats going to interest me. I dont want to read a spoiler that the main character deals with a situation by shooting/stabbing/seducing someone, I want to learn that through the story. This can sometimes make leaving a review a little challenging – I want to tell you more than the book blurb, but not enough to make you feel like I ve spoilt the story. This book covers many types of behaviours that would not be considered diverse or inclusive from differing perspectives making it feel like it has a rounded viewpoint. Yes we all know that ‘ism’s are an issue, whether it be due to race, age, sex, or sexuality but this storylime looks at culture, how viewpoints have changed over the years and touches on reasons for it. This makes it feel like its providing a 360 perspective on the issues, and yes it acknowledges that we shouldnt be racist but from a viewpoint of characters and their experiences.
Muswell Hill provided some great news on the books too, it has already been picked up for an 8 part tv serives, and two more books featuring Low are confirmed for next year. Judging by the name of one – Marina Bay Sins it sounds like we’ll be travelling abroad with Low on this one, but Rich Kill Poor Kill is keeping us guessing.
This book is great for those interested in detective novels, current affairs and also general fiction.