Malaysia | The Detective Hawksworth trilogy | Novel
The Detective Hawksworth trilogy
Daniel Moss, Bloomberg Opinion Editor
Gang warfare and equally treacherous colonial politics of 1890s Singapore and Malaysia are the shoals that a hard-boiled British investigator navigates in William L. Gibson's Detective Hawksworth trilogy. The books, titled `Singapore Black,' `Singapore Yellow' and `Singapore Red,' wind Hawksworth through late Victorian Singapore, Malacca and Penang. He tracks priceless religious icons, pursues a child kidnapping ring and chases murderers of the scion of a prominent Chinese merchant family.
The easy-to-read and sometimes racy pieces of noir fiction are also about journeys of identity: of David Hawksworth himself and the rapidly expanding settlements and commercial of Singapore and Malaysia. Hawksworth is a man who must uphold British law without ever having set foot in the U.K., believing himself an orphan who grew up in Penang, speaking as much Malay as English.
As we learn more about his mysterious provenance, we see the economic and cultural forces that shaped what grew into two vibrant sovereign nations.
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