Singapore Fire by Murray Bailey #BookReview #BlogTour

 

She wants to escape

He wants to save her

But nothing is what it seems

Singapore 1954 and once again, private investigator, Ash Carter is caught between the government and the criminal gangs. It's time for Carter to choose.

Escape now or stand and fight?

I'm delighted to be hosting the blog tour for Singapore Fire today. Many thanks to Murray Bailey for inviting me and for my advance digital copy of the novel.

Singapore Fire is the final book in Murray Bailey's Ash Carter series but only the second I have read, and after the dramatic events in the previous novel, Singapore Killer,  Ash is still working as a private investigator, with Madame Chau his redoubtable receptionist. 
Towards the start of the book, Ash mentions he would like to be compared to a new fictional spy - James Bond - but while there are similarities between them, I would venture that Carter is the more progressive of the two. That said (and as is pointed out to him, later in the book), he is a white man of his time and has enjoyed the privileges, including a few liaisons during his time in Singapore. However, things are different now as Carter is involved with Su Ling, the mistress of powerful crime boss, Andrew Yipp. Ash is in love but his feelings risk putting him in more danger than ever, as he tries to figure out a way to help her escape. Life becomes even more complicated when the political uncertainty means government officials give him little choice but to investigate the very man he is trying to help Su Ling flee from. To make things more complex still, he has unfinished business regarding his previous Blackjack case and a keen young reporter, Linda Wu brings him evidence of financial corruption which he is also compelled to examine more closely.
It's an action-packed thriller then and while it can be read as a standalone, I would recommend reading at least Singapore Killer to gain a clearer picture of what has gone before. I quickly realised that Carter has prior history with Su Ling and so I have no doubt that those who have read the whole series will most appreciate the overarching plot development which brings him to this point.
There is an ever-present sense of danger and Murray Bailey perceptively captures the sexual and cultural inequality of the island but despite its challenges, it's still obvious why Ash Carter enjoys the rich diversity of Singapore. The rich descriptions make Singapore Fire an immersive novel, evoking a vivid sense of the time and place. There is always a tinderbox feel to the proceedings, with the fear of communism and anti-colonialism causing increasing concern. It's these elements which make the book a fascinating historical read as well as a gripping thriller. 
The explosive finale is as tense and exciting as I'd hoped for but what I didn't expect were the shocking revelations - or the rather poignant conclusion. It makes for a clever ending to the book and series although I'm hopeful that this isn't the last we see of Ash Carter. Intriguing, engrossing and intricately plotted, Singapore Fire is a rewarding action thriller; I thoroughly recommend it.

Singapore Fire will be published on 1st March 2021 and can be pre-ordered from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Don't miss the rest of the blog tour, details are below.


About the Author
Murray Bailey got his first taste of success when he was published in the Times at 18 and in his local newspaper.
Although he went on to pursue a different career, he continued to write and edit and became the editor of an international magazine and editor of 4 technical books. 
His first work of fiction, I Dare You, was published in 2016 and The Lost Pharaoh continues the ancient Egyptian story glimpsed in Map of the Dead and is his ninth title. 
Murray was born in Greater Manchester, England and has being moving south ever since. He now lives on the beautiful Dorset coast with his wife and family.

Comments

  1. Thanks for this lovely review. It’s wonderful and satisfying to hear when someone’s enjoyed what I wrote - it’s even better when someone gets all the ‘levels’ of the plot and found the ending poignant. Maybe just maybe I’ll now write what happens next. Murray

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