The Ambassador’s Wife by Jake Needham

The Ambassador's Wife by Jake Needham Purchase:

    When international politics takes over a murder case, the truth is always the next victim.

    The first body is in Singapore, on a bed in an empty suite in the Marriott Hotel. The second is in Bangkok, in a seedy apartment close to the American embassy. Both women. Both Americans. Both beaten viciously, shot in the head, stripped naked, and lewdly displayed.

    The FBI says it’s terrorism, but the whispers on the street tell a different story. They say a serial killer is stalking American women across Asia.

    Inspector Samuel Tay of Singapore CID is something of a reluctant policeman. He’s a little overweight, a little lonely, a little cranky, and he smokes way too much. Thinking back, he can’t even remember why he became a detective in the first place. He thinks a lot about quitting, but he hasn’t. Because the thing is, he’s very, very good at what he does.

    When the bodies of American women start turning up, CID gives the case to Tay. It’s high profile, and he’s the best they have. Then why is it, Tay soon begins to wonder, that nobody seems to want him to find the women’s killer? Not the FBI, not the American ambassador, not even his bosses at CID.

    When international politics takes over a murder case, the truth is always the next victim.

    Review by Sturgess66:

    Jake Needham
    Jake Needham

    It looks like I have found another author to add to my “favorites” list. The Ambassador’s Wife is the first Jake Needham book that I have read – and – that I could hardly wait to get back to to reading my novel – says it all, I think. Inspector Samuel Tay is a simple man, a bit shy, and with a knack for looking at things in a simple way. He is also a thinking man – sometimes thoughts about life in general or life in the city, smog and sunsets, dry cleaning and packing, and his cigarette habit.

    Sometimes humorous, sometimes heartfelt, sometimes self-deprecating – all the while following his own pathways and intuitions towards solving some rather serious crimes in high places. I grew very fond of Tay as the book progressed – and I suspect that this author must like him too. So – more Tay please!

    I also enjoyed very much Jake Needham’s descriptions of life in Singapore, and then Bangkok and Pattaya. It is obvious that he knows well how things go ’round in these places. All this is a fast-paced and very well written crime fiction novel that is quite believable! I’m looking forward to reading more of Jake Needham’s novels. I don’t have a kindle and like reading paperbacks. It takes a bit of effort to track down Needham’s books in paperback since they do not seem to be available in bookstores in the USA. I hope we will be able to find them in bookstores here soon!

    Review by Toni Osborne:

    It was my first experience reading this author and it was most satisfying. It is always an enjoyment when a plot is expertly crafted and offers complex twists to challenge us and a good healthy dose of mystery with few grisly details. No need to look further this crime fiction set in Asia provided all of the excitement needed.

    It opens with the battered body of an unidentified Caucasian woman discovered in what was supposed to be an empty room at the Singapore Marriott. A second body is found in Bangkok in a seedy apartment close to the American embassy. Both women are Americans and have been beaten viciously, shot in the head, stripped naked and crudely displayed. Inspector Samuel Tay of Singapore CID is assigned to the case….a case that no one wants him to solve…

    Samuel Tay is an unassuming protagonist, a little cranky, he definitely smokes too much, doesn’t like Americans, loathes fat tourists in their shorts and flip-flops and downright gauche with women. I enjoy novel series that allows their protagonist to grow on its readers and slowly hook them. This is definitely one of them.

    The story takes a while to speed up but after setting meticulously the scene, there is a very strong awareness of location and atmosphere that are vividly portrayed throughout the pages. When it takes off in supersonic mode the story is driven into dark territory of spooks while Inspector Tay holds his own against the forces tugging him away from his task. The narration is sometime funny especially when Tay describes his feelings of the authorities and Singapore’s hellish temperature. I like the dry sense of humour that occasion pops up.

    Very engaging novel in every aspect and will look forward to its sequel