Neil Humphreys' new book features 'lunatic ang moh'
Murder he wrote...again. Author Neil Humphreys creates crime novel sequel
He is an ang moh who has written multiple books about life in Singapore. Neil Humphreys' latest work features another ang moh - one who is a serial killer.
The British writer, who pens a sports column for The New Paper, will be launching his latest crime thriller, Rich Kill Poor Kill, today at Books Kinokuniya.
The new book - his second crime novel after last year's Marina Bay Sins - is inspired by a real-life case in Hong Kong in 2014, when two Indonesian women were found murdered by a British banker in his flat.
The violence in his new offering may raise a few eyebrows.
The villain, the 42-year-old author said, is an "ang moh lunatic".
He said: "In Singapore, yes, there are murder cases, but nothing like what the United States has.
"Singaporeans may not be used to this kind of violence, so why not throw in some absolute ang moh lunatic and let him stab his way through Singapore?
"How will Singaporeans react to that?"
Rich Kill Poor Kill sees the return of Detective Inspector Stanley Low, the main character in Marina Bay Sins. (According to Humphreys, the character was made with local actor Adrian Pang in mind, in the hopes of one day turning the books into a television series.)
When the body of a foreign worker is found in a back street, few people bat an eyelid.
Then another corpse is found, and another - all killed with the same weapon. Panic starts to set in as Singapore grapples with a serial killer.
The new book's title is a play on the title Rich Dad Poor Dad, the popular book on financial independence by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter.
Humphreys said the title is more than a pun, though. It also reflects the theme of the story.
"We live in a wonderful country that is mostly safe, but I want to write it in a way that is realistic to the audience," he said.
The book, he added, addresses the divide between the rich and poor in Singapore.
Before he delved into the crime fiction, Humphreys wrote children's books and humourous books about Singapore and its culture.
Why the switch to crime?
"I go backwards and forward with the genres all the time. I do love writing comedy and children's books, but I don't like to write them all the time," he said.
"I cannot do the same thing all the time, as it can be a little depressing. We all only live once, so why not try different things?"
He also told The New Paper that the reason he wanted to write a crime novel was because "there is a vacuum in this (Singapore) market" and "there is a huge audience in Singapore that is not catered to".
When Marina Bay Sins was published, Humphreys was surprised that the book garnered quite a lot of attention from readers.
It shot to the top Apple iBook charts in Australia and the United Kingdom when it was released last year.
Humphreys is appreciative of the fans who have followed him through all the different genres he has explored.
He said: "I am definitely not up against popular books like Gone Girl, Girl On The Train, or Harry Potter.
"But if I know that I have written a page-turner and managed to capture the readers, then I know that I have not failed."
Books Kinokuniya, Ngee Ann City