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Mystery set in MONGKOK, HONG KONG

2nd December 2020

Mongkok Station by Jake Needham, mystery set in Mongkok, Hong Kong.

The first thing you need to know is that Mongkok is said to be the most crowded place on earth, it is the heart of the Hong Kong sex trade and it is the stronghold of the Triads. It is not a salubrious place and few tourists venture there. However, it is almost like the decaying, beating heart of the city, where you will experience ‘real’ Hong Kong – a place far, far away from the Gucci, Fendi, Prada glitz, the Peak, Kowloon and the Star Ferry.

Inspector Samuel Tay has been asked to investigate the disappearance of Emma Lau, who just happens to be the daughter of the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Doris Lau (not Lam, obviously). Emma’s biological father is someone high up in the American government, there has however been no contact between the parents – until now. The largely American unit brought in to search for her is more hush hush than anyone can imagine.

As the investigations get under way, it becomes clear that other young women from monied families have gone missing and Tay realises that finding Emma soon is absolutely imperative.

The storyline is pertinently set against the backdrop of the current instability which has resulted in unrest and demonstrations, as China flexes its powerful muscles.

Tay has come from Singapore and the author makes the reader aware of how Singapore and Hong Kong vie for the position of top city in the region. Tay is not the most tech savvy person, but that gives him a kind of human – slightly bumbling – persona. His instincts in getting to the heart of a case are unmatched and that is why he has been brought in. In the novel he is also grappling with medical symptoms, which give him a vulnerability and real personality.

The setting of Hong Kong is colourfully drawn and for anyone who has been – or intends to visit – it makes for an excellent read, bringing the city to vibrant life. The storyline is crisply written and engaging. This is no. 6 in the Inspector Samuel Tay series and can be read as a stand alone.

Tina for the TripFiction Team

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