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Inspector Singh Investigates: A Bali…
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Inspector Singh Investigates: A Bali Conspiracy Most Foul: Number 2 in… (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Shamini Flint

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1019119,589 (3.67)3
Member:forrestreid
Title:Inspector Singh Investigates: A Bali Conspiracy Most Foul: Number 2 in series
Authors:Shamini Flint
Info:Piatkus (2009), Edition: First Thus, Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Rating:
Tags:bali, fiction, detective fiction, HaveRead

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Inspector Singh Investigates: A Bali Conspiracy Most Foul by Shamini Flint (2009)

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Originally posted on my blog

I used to avoid the crime/mystery shelves at the library. You could find me in fiction, non-fiction, science fiction and fantasy, magazines etc but not the crime/mystery sections. Not until recently.



Perhaps I was unsure of where to begin, which series were good, which writers actually wrote well instead of just churning out book after book in factory-style mass production.

So I’ve been playing catch up.

Partly because of the very many series that have come from countries afar. Like Iceland or Sweden. And in this case, Southeast Asia.

Flint has created an interesting, somewhat different policeman in Inspector Singh, who hails from Singapore and is too fond of his food, resulting in a rather portly figure. Authoritative and imposing, but a little on the round side.

“Singh took a deep breath. He smelt the spicy warm scent of ikan bakar, fish wrapped in banana leaf, on the hotel barbecue. His nostril hairs quivered appreciatively. Wherever he was, the smell of cooking food was always enticing. Singh grimaced – even by his own standards it seemed callous to be longing for dinner at such a time. His ample stomach immediately protested his conclusion, rumbling like a distant storm. The policeman shrugged and ordered a cold Bintang beer and a nasi goreng. After all, one had to eat. He wouldn’t be helping anyone by eschewing food. Not, he thought ruefully, that he was helping anyone anyway.”

Inspector Singh is the Singapore Police Force’s representative in Bali after the aftermath of the Sari Club bombings (based on the real 2002 bombings which killed 202 people and injured many more).

This is rather curious as he is no terrorism expert but an investigator of murders (Singapore has to keep its terrorism experts around to protect its own shores).

And conveniently, there is a murder for Singh to solve.

For the police have found the skull fragment of a man who was killed before the bomb went off.

A fun read, set against a bit of a grim background. It isn’t quite hard to see where the story is going despite the myriad of characters that Flint tosses in (perhaps one too many?). But Inspector Singh, “a throwback to the old school – hardworking, hard-drinking, chain-smoking”, not to mention food-loving, makes for an amusing character whose cases take him to unusual and refreshing locations – in terms of crime series at least – as the series is set mostly in Southeast Asia.

You know, I just realised that I have read this series out of order. Silly me. Still it works fine on its own, and it didn’t feel like I was reading the second book in a series (which is probably why I only realised it now) and now I’m curious to see how the first book, A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder, will work having read the second one!

I am guessing that I wouldn’t fare too well as a police inspector….


( )
  olduvai | Jan 19, 2016 |
This book is the second in a series featuring irascible and portly Sikh Detective Inspector Singh. I was only mildly interested in the first one, A Peculiar Malaysian Murder, but when I saw this was set in Bali I decided to give Shamini Flint one more chance. I'm glad I did because I enjoyed this mystery much more than the first one I read. Flint sets a murder mystery in the debris and aftermath of the horrific real-life Bali bombings that occurred in October 2002 when 202 people were killed when three bombs were detonated.

Singh finds himself paired up with Bronwyn Taylor, a policewoman in the Australian Federal Police that Singh initially finds annoying and tiresome. Taylor has little experience with murder investigations, but like Singh, she has been sidelined by her superiors. She and Singh find themselves working together to investigate the bullet-holed bones found at the bombsite. Since they can't be much help on the terror investigation they decide to find out who used the bombings to cover up a murder.

The plot is a clever mix of fact and fiction, with some of the characters' names resembling those eventually convicted of the bombings. The author does a good job of describing why the bombings happened and how ordinary people were caught up in them. I liked the fleshing out of Inspector Singh much better than in the first book. Bronwyn Taylor, the Australian policewoman, comes over well as both compassionate and conscientious, and she and Singh make a good team. Even though it deals with a horrific real life event, I would still categorize it as a fairly light read that definitely enjoyable. ( )
  Olivermagnus | Jan 17, 2016 |
This is much more compelling than the first Singh mystery! I figured out a good portion of where it was going about half way through the story but it was still worth reading. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series where Singh is at home in Singapore to learn more about him. ( )
  cygnet81 | Jan 17, 2016 |
Enjoyable. I'll track down the rest of the series. ( )
  MikeRhode | Feb 5, 2015 |
This book is of special interest to Australians because it is based around the Bali bombings of October 2002 when 202 people, (including 88 Australians, and 38 Indonesian citizens) were killed when 3 bombs were detonated, two at Kuta and one in Denpasar.

The irony of the story is that while the police are hunting down those responsible for mass murder, Inspector Singh and Bronwyn Taylor, an Australian Federal Policewoman, are deployed to hunt down someone who used the bombing to cover up a homicide. No-one expects Singh and his offsider to succeed for both are held in pretty low regard by their colleagues.

The plot is a clever mix of fact and fiction, with some of the characters' names resembling those eventually convicted of the bombings. The author does a good job of describing why the bombings happened, how ordinary people were caught up in them: the bombers themselves, the ex-pat community, the Balinese economy and people. I liked the fleshing out of Inspector Singh much better than in #1 in the series. Bronwyn Taylor, the Australian policewoman, comes over well as both compassionate and conscientious, and she and Singh make a good team.

I thought too that the author captured the flavour of Bali very well, although I have to admit it is 35 years since I was there. Time for another holiday I reckon.

Narrator Jonathan Keeble does a good job with a range of accents including some dreadfully flat Australian ones. ( )
  smik | Jul 23, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0749929766, Paperback)

Inspector Singh is back, but this time on secondment to Bali. A bomb has exploded and Singh has been sent to help with anti-terrorism efforts. But there's a slight problem: he knows squat about hunting terrorists. He's much better suited to solving murder! So when a body is discovered in the wreckage, killed by a bullet before the bomb went off, Singh should be the one to find the answers - especially with the help of a wily Australian copper by his side. But simple murders are never as simple as they seem - and this one has far-reaching global consequences ...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:09 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A bomb has exploded in Bali & Inspector Singh has been sent to help with anti-terrorism efforts. But there's a slight problem: he knows squat about hunting terrorists. He's much better suited to solving murders. So when a body is found in the wreckage, killed by a bullet before the bomb went off, Singh determines to find the killer.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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