This post is a bit of an excuse to shoehorn in quite a things of interest to me. Firstly, the new book from crime fiction writer Peter Robinson – I’ve been a fan of his Yorkshire-set Inspector Banks books and the TV adaptation DCI Banks (which is happily getting a second series). Occasionally Robinson writes outside of the Banks series and has done several short stories around the Second World War and the Home Front – murders during the Blitz etc (see his collection Not Safe After Dark). Now he has published a new novel Before the Poison (I like the Canadian cover best – as below) which is not a Banks but is set largely in Yorkshire. The story hinges on a woman hanged in the 1950s for murdering her husband – moving into her former house in remote Yorkshire the new occupant reopens the case. So I’m happy again – an unsolved murder (of course I get to say how lazy to have to invent one when you could solve a real cold case!!).
And there are some excellent flash back scenes to the wartime Singapore and the eventual evacuation of the island as the Japanese invade. Robinson has taken real events, obviously the invasion of Singapore, guns facing the wrong way, etc etc, but also the smaller evacuation ships sunk of Pom Pong Island, the harsh time the survivors spent on the island and their eventual dramatic rescue. That story is retold with pictures on the excellent web site Singapore Evacuation 1942 which I also wanted to plug as having a wealth of information about Singapore in 1942.
And that neatly allows me to also add that I’ll be in Singapore on the first weekend in November at the Singapore Writers Festival.