An epic tale of love and loss in WWII Malaya and Singapore.
It’s 1941 and seventeen-year-old Victoria Khoo, daughter of a wealthy family of Straits Chinese, lives in luxury in colonial Singapore. Her carefree days are spent fantasising about marrying Sebastian Boustead, scion of a great British merchant family, Read More
Island of Demons
Many men dream of running away to a tropical island and living surrounded by beauty and exotic exuberance. Walter Spies did more than dream. He actually did it.
In the 1920s and 30s, Walter Spies — ethnographer, choreographer, film maker, natural historian and painter — transformed the perception of Bali Read More
Set in Sumatra in the 1950s, Jaipong Dancer is a story of lost innocence and complex moral dilemmas. It follows the journey of Yahyu, a young Javanese dancer, who runs away from a forced marriage and becomes unwittingly involved in the violent struggle for Sumatra’s independence from Jakarta. Read More
It is the First World War and Julius Lauterbach is a German prisoner of war in the old Tanglin barracks of Singapore. He is also a braggart, a womaniser and a heavy drinker and through his bored fantasies he unwittingly triggers a mutiny by Muslim troops of the British garrison and so throws the whole course of the war in doubt. The British Read More
It is the First World War and the Flashmanesque German naval reserve captain, Julius Lauterbach, is a prisoner of war in the old Tanglin barracks of Singapore. He is also a braggart, a womaniser and a heavy drinker and through his bored fantasies he unwittingly triggers a mutiny by Muslim troops of the British garrison — the 1915 Singapore Mutiny Read More
The Devil’s Garden
Gardens are magical places – images of Nature and Culture, models of paradise, spaces where plants live in war and peace, co-operation and competition. It is 1942 and Singapore is Syonanto, part of the Japanese Empire, where violence and starvation stalk the streets but in the Singapore Botanic Gardens a bizarre tranquillity reigns between warring nations and even love awakes Read More
The English Concubine
In the fourth and final volume of the The Straits Quartet, Charlotte Macleod is the English concubine. Her love affair with Zhen, wealthy Chinese merchant, is an open scandal to both the English and the Chinese communities.
Singapore in 1860 is a vice-ridden town filled “with the dregs of humanity from two continents”. Read More
The Flight of the Swans
The Flight of the Swans is a rich and fascinating family saga set in British India and Malaya. Cursed, and with blood on his hands, Captain Ramdas Rao Bhonlse is forced to flee Killa Fort, which has fallen to the British. A strange flight of swans signals his flight from Killa; a flight that will drive Ramdas and his family into further adversity. Read More
The Flight of the Swans
The Flight of the Swans is a rich and fascinating family saga set in British India and Malaya. Cursed, and with blood on his hands, Captain Ramdas Rao Bhonslé is forced to flee Killa Fort, which has fallen to the British. A strange flight of swans signals his flight from Killa; a flight that will drive Ramdas and his family into further adversity. Read More
The Hills of Singapore (The Straits Quartet, Vol.3)
Young, beautiful and wealthy, widow Charlotte Macleod leaves Batavia in the 1850s and returns to Singapore for the English education of her two young sons. She is determined not to be drawn back into a secret affair with Zhen, the married Chinese merchant, triad-member and man she loves who is, unbeknownst to him, the father of her eldest son, Read More
The Malayan Life of Ferdach O’Haney
It is 1950 and the Federation of Malaya is in the throes of the Malayan Emergency. The British are struggling to defeat the communist terrorists and deal with rising nationalism in the colony.
Ferdach O’Haney arrives in Malaya as a young Anglo-Irish man to serve the Federation government, and he is plunged into the Read More
The Red Thread (The Straits Quartet, Vol.1)
Like Chinese silk, The Red Thread is, by turns, gentle and strong, exploring a love that breaks through the divide of race and culture, a love that is both deeply physical and a marriage of souls. Set against the backdrop of 1830s Singapore where piracy, crime, triads and tigers are commonplace, this cultural romance follows the struggle Read More
The Shallow Seas (The Straits Quartet, Vol.2)
In this sequel to The Red Thread, Charlotte Macleod is nineteen, pregnant, and alone in 1842. She is fleeing a scandalous liaison with her married Chinese lover, a liaison which would bring ruin on him, herself, and her brother, Robert, the police chief of Singapore. When Tigran Manouk, forty, and the richest merchant in Batavia, Read More
Year of the Tiger
During World War II, the Imperial Japanese Army under General Tomoyuki Yamashita looted untold amounts of gold and other valuables from across its occupied colonies in Southeast Asia to fi nance the empire’s ongoing military expansion. But when the tide of war turned against Japan in 1943, much of this treasure had to be buried in secret. Read More