THE DEAD AMERICAN (The Inspector Samuel Tay Novels Book 3)
"Jake Needham is Asia's most stylish and atmospheric writer of crime fiction." - The Singapore Straits Times
They steer a tight ship in squeaky-clean Singapore. No dissent, no opposition, no criticism. It's like an entire country run by Walt Disney. Disneyland with the death penalty, somebody once called it.
A young American software engineer hangs himself in his Singapore apartment. At least that's what the police say happened. Emma Lazar, a writer for the Wall Street Journal, thinks otherwise. She thinks Tyler Bartlett was murdered to keep him quiet, and the Singapore police are covering it up.
Emma asks Inspector Samuel Tay to help her investigate the young man's death. Tay is a senior inspector in the elite Special Investigation Section of Singapore CID. He's pretty much the best investigator the Singapore police have, but Tay's father was an American and from him Tay inherited a strong streak of American individualism that has made him an outsider in tightly wound little Singapore. That's mostly why Tay has been placed on leave. He shot a man and everyone knows it was self-defense, but Tay's enemies have seized on the incident to try to get rid of him once and for all.
Tay is reluctant to get involved. It won't help him get his job back to challenge the government's official narrative about the death of Tyler Bartlett. But Emma's story tickles his curiosity, and…well, the truth is she's beautiful and he's bored, so he tells her he will help anyway.
Learning that Tyler Bartlett's death was no suicide is easy enough for Tay. What's more difficult is finding out what the young man knew that made him worth killing. When Tay realizes his superiors are working behind the scenes to keep the secret, he becomes more determined than ever to discover what, and who, is really behind Tyler's murder.
Of course, there's a problem there. If Tay does find out, won't that make him worth killing, too?