"If there's a living writer whose work makes me think of the great Raymond Chandler, it's Jake Needham.” -- James David Audlin, author of THE TRAIN
“Jake Needham deftly morphs 1930s American Sam Spade into Samuel Tay, a world-weary twenty-first century Singapore homicide detective.” -- Libris Reviews
SAMUEL TAY has retired from Singapore CID. It wasn’t entirely his idea, but that’s another story. John August is a guy who has saved Tay’s butt more than once over the years. He’s an American who may or may not do something for the CIA.
Now August wants to collect on all those favors Tay owes him. He needs Tay’s help to investigate a homicide.
‘Whose homicide?’ Tay asks. ‘Mine,’ August replies.
Tay’s little inner voice is shouting at him not to get involved. He’s a cop, he keeps telling himself, not a spy — well, at least he used to be a cop — but he’s bored and curious so how can he resist? Apparently, there’s a woman who knows who tried to kill August, and that’s a good place to start if only Tay can figure out who she actually is.
When Tay picks up the woman’s trail, he follows her first to a beach resort on the coast of Thailand that is surely one of the most notorious towns on earth, and then on to Washington DC, another town that is equally notorious, although perhaps for slightly different reasons.
Tay doesn’t want to go to Washington since he doesn’t like Americans very much, but he’s onto a murder plot that lies right at the heart of the American intelligence establishment, and Washington is where all the answers are.
Washington doesn’t frighten Samuel Tay. He’s the kind of man who lives to blow away the smoke and break the mirrors. This time, however, Tay is going up against people who may be too powerful to be exposed, people who know exactly how to protect themselves.
They'll kill Sam Tay if he gets too close to the truth.