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Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Ambassador's Wife by Jake Needham

Genre: Thriller

Setting: Singapore and Bangkok

First Sentence:  When his cell phone rang, Inspector Samuel Tay considered ignoring it.

Inspector Tay is not your super sleuth detective.  He is an overweight middle-aged policeman; an inspector for the Special Investigations Section of the Criminal Investigations Department of the Singapore police.

When a woman is found horribly murdered in an upscale hotel, Inspector Tay recognizes that there is something peculiar about the crime scene.  Some one has set up the scene to make it difficult to identify the victim.

Eventually, Tay learns that the victim is the wife of the American ambassador.  The Americans pat Tay on the head and tell him that they will handle the investigation.  Tay, however, is not the small town policeman the Americans think he is.

When another woman, this time in Bangkok, is murdered in almost exactly the same way, Tay goes to Thailand to investigate.

Working slowly, gathering clues, Tay gets closer and closer to solving the case.

But when Tay's estranged mother dies in New York, the case and her death launch him into a midlife crisis.  In the end Tay must decide what is more important: justice or truth?

In Inspector Tay, Needham has created a unique character.  I like him.  He seems like a real person.  He has real problems.  He sometimes doesn't know what to do or say.  He probably needs to lose weight and stop smoking.

I enjoy Jake Needham's writing.  He sticks to the plot.  He has believable characters.  His style of writing is very readable.

Two thumbs up for a terrific novel.

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