The Red Thread
By Dawn Farnham
Paperback: 328 pages
Publisher: Monsoon Books Pte. Ltd. (September 15, 2007)
Price: from Amazon US$15.95, in Malaysia RM39.90
I met Dawn 2 years ago but I'm ashamed to say I only cracked open her first romance on Sunday. I'm glad to say it's a good read.
It's set in the 1830s in Singapore when the city state was a rough and tough trader's centre. There's tigers and terrorists in the jungle, slavery in the town, and all sorts of unsavoury stuff going on. It doesn't phase the heroine, Charlotte, a Madagascan-Scottish girl whose brother is Singapore's first police chief.
Much of the novel is devoted to the lives of the various people living in Singapore, and the "red thread" that connects them. Then love story between Charlotte and Zhen the Chinese coolie, takes off.
This is a fun book, with lots of local detail. Think Noel Barber but set in older times. Best of all, this is the first of a set of four. The Shallow Seas and The Hills of Singapore are out, and book 4 should be out next year. I'll cover the others in a few weeks.
If you're into romance, you can read the first chapter for free at the Monsoon web site here.