Throughout his career, Singapore’s bestselling author Neil Humphreys has successfully mixed biting wit with pitch-black satire to highlight the hypocrisy that lies beneath Asia’s sanitized, swinging city. In both fiction and non-fiction, he has shone a light into Singapore’s darkest corners to create riveting stories that both captivate the reader and provoke the conscience. Now, in his new novel Marina Bay Sins, he has taken a parang to some of Asia’s most sacred cows. Detective Inspector Stanley low is having a really bad day. His bipolar condition is already ruining another session with his psychiatrist when a sadistic sex murder-sucide at Singapore’s most prestigious hotel plunges him back into a sordid underworld he was desperate to leave behind. Marina Bay Sands represents Singapore’s attempt to become the Monaco of Asia, a sparkling, physical embodiment of the island’s devotion to economic growth at any cost. A murdered prostitute and a dead expatriate ask questions of a society no-one is particularly keen to answer. As the case spirals out of control, Inspector Low encounters self-help celebrity couple Yue Liang and Jimmy Chew. She’s a desperate singer willing to do whatever it takes to break the US market. He’s a motivational speaker embroiled in a financial crisis. Neither of them can get their story straight. Meanwhile, a South African CEO cannot control his addiction to Asian women, an elusive Indonesian businessman plays pimp for exiled military generals, a government minister is determined to protect foreign ‘talent’ and an imprisoned loan shark pushes the Low to the brink of a nervous breakdown. Fuelled by his uncontrollable mania, Inspector Low goes undercover once more and returns to a world that the Asian metropolis refuses to acknowledge; a world of gambling addiction, crime syndicates, international money launderers, immoral celebrities and corrupt politicians, all living in Asia’s cleanest city. As Inspector Low gets closer to the unpalatable truth, the search for the murderer races to a gripping, horrifying finish. An intelligent, thought-provoking novel, Marina Bay Sins is Humphreys at his satirical best.
What they say
“Americans may not know anything about English football – heck, we’re not even sure that short-pants stuff really is football. But there’s nothing we love more than a scandal that runs all the way up to the big guys. Neil Humphreys delivers that and more in the form of a bang-up tale of an English footballer adrift in the perplexing land of Singapore, a hard-edged odyssey of sex, drugs and football that will keep you turning pages to the very end. I friggin’ love it.”
“Humphreys writes his stories with humour, an eye for detail and, most importantly, an empathy for the downtrodden… Singapore has become richer with Humphreys’ observations and commentaries.”
Braema Mathi, human rights activist, former Nominated Member of Parliament
“Some of his observations are so bitingly spot-on, you don’t know whether to laugh or just hit him over the head.”
“Blatant prejudices are chewed on, digested and spat out with an equal measure of candour and tongue-in-cheek.”