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The Ambassador's Wife [Paperback]

Jake Needham
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)

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Book Description

15 July 2011
Inspector Samuel Tay of Singapore CID has always been something of a reluctant policeman. He can t even remember why he became a detective in the first place, but he is still awfully good at what he does. He had better be. The first body is discovered in Singapore, and the second in Bangkok. Both American women. Both viciously beaten. Both stripped nude and obscenely posed. The FBI calls it terrorism, but the whispers are that a serial killer is stalking American women across Asia. So why is it no one appears to want Tay to find the killer? Whatever the reason, he won't let it go. He is trailing a sadistic killer from Singapore deep into the dark, sordid heart of Bangkok. And, if he has to, he will do it all by himself.

Product details

  • Paperback: 364 pages
  • Publisher: Marshall Cavendish International (Asia) Pte Ltd (15 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9814328170
  • ISBN-13: 978-9814328173
  • Product Dimensions: 0.3 x 18.6 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 781,665 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

JAKE NEEDHAM is an American screen and television writer who began writing crime novels when he realized he didn't really like movies and television very much.

He is a lawyer by education. Prior to becoming a screenwriter through a series of accidents too ridiculous to be believed, he held a number of significant positions in both the public and private sectors where he took part in a lengthy list of international operations he has no intention of telling you about.

Mr. Needham has lived and worked in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Thailand for over twenty-five years. He, his wife, and their two sons now divide their time between homes in Bangkok and New York. You can read excerpts from his books as well as his occasional 'Letters from Asia' with a few insights into the background of his books at his web site:

Product Description


"In his raw power to bring the street-level flavor of contemporary Asian cities to life, Needham is Michael Connelly with steamed rice." --The Bangkok Post

"Asia's most stylish and atmospheric writer of crime fiction." --The Straits Times (Singapore)

"Jake Needham...has a knack for bringing intricate plots to life. His stories blur the line between fact and fiction and have a 'ripped from the headlines' feel. The level of detail astounds, giving the story an authenticity that could only come from someone who has intimate familiarity with such things. Buckle up and enjoy the ride."

"Although it might seem unlikely that government agencies would engage in such brazen corruption in real life, the truth is they already have... Mr. Needham seems to know rather more than one ought about these things." --The Wall Street Journal Asia

"Obtaining books from regional publishers has its difficulties, but in the case of THE AMBASSADOR'S WIFE, it will be well worth the effort. This is an absorbing, believable portrayal of a veteran homicide cop in Singapore." --The Japan Times

About the Author

Jake Needham is an American novelist and screenwriter who lived in Asia for over thirty years where he wrote regularly for the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong, the Straits Times in Singapore, and the Bangkok Post in Thailand. He has published four contemporary crime novels set in Asia: THE AMBASSADOR'S WIFE, KILLING PLATO, THE BIG MANGO, and LAUNDRY MAN. Seven different publishers in four countries have so far published thirteen separate editions of his novels.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ambassadors Wife 28 July 2011
By Q
It's Singapore, the hot, clean, green city most people know even though they have never been there!
Great shopping, great nightlife and all washed down with ice cold Tiger beer as this is the tropics!
A safe city, a five star destination; a location where you can easily forget crime still exists.
You are dropped in as the character Samuel Tay, inspector of CID [Singapore Police] and your life has been relatively easy to date with the only crimes you normally have to deal with arising from those few people who lost all hope.
Suddenly The Ambassador's wife is brutally murdered in a five star hotel located in the cities main traffic artery and tourist shopping mecca Orchard Road. No motives are apparent. Clues are sparse and the local police would rather just turn the clock back a day and forget it ever happened.
Singapore has that tarnished image where such deeds just do not happen right!
Jake Needham returns with a book that shows a side of Singapore that few Singaporeans want to acknowledge. As you enter into the plot you rapidly discover that issues are not as they seem, the path ahead becomes confusing and whilst on the trail you are beset by conflicting evidence that makes this crime all a bit too hard in the heat!
It should be straightforward at this stage in your career but you are starting to wonder how this will possibly end.
It's thought provoking stuff that keeps your attention right to the last page.
Be warned you will finish this novel and be left seeking another heavy dose!
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Singapore 8 Sep 2012
By paul
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Inspector Tay books are not just a great thriller story, they are also a wonderful insight into the world of where they are set. Whether Singapore or Thailand (these are only the ones I have read so far) they seem to wisk you to far of countries where life for a police inspector is never dull. Great storylines thought out to entrance you on the mysteries of Asia.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hello Inspector Tay 8 Sep 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was my third Jake Needham novel, the other two being in his Jack Shepherd series. Sam Tay is a different kind of principal character and, very obviously to his superiors in the Singapore Police Force, a very different kind of policeman - one who they thought had been put out to pasture and would prefer to stay that way. However, when he gets involved, albeit reluctantly, he brings his own particular attitude and investigative methods to bear in a very productive, and often humorous way. I can't wait to read The Umbrella Man in due course.
I cannot believe why someone should condemn an entire book having only read the first "look inside" page!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I know very little about Singapore, but this novel conjures up the atmosphere of the place brilliantly. I love the way Jake Needham gives digs about Thailand next door - you see a tiny glimpse of the author.

Singapore is a neat and tidy place where real dirty bloody crime is not frequent. The shock of finding the Ambassador's wife dead in a hotel room is palpable. When other bodies start turning up, though next door in Thailand, the sultry tropical heat of Singapore is made even more unbearable by the tension brought on by the tricky nature of the crime.

The American Embassy is involved which means all sorts of dodgy types are also involved (FBI, CIA, spooks etc). Poor old Detective Inspector Sam Tay, used to a relatively quiet life, is drawn into a murky mire of deceit and cover ups.

Recommended for the novelty value of the setting and the enjoyable read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended 31 May 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a terrific book, loved Sam Tay, a really different detective, and an original setting in Singapore. It's nicely plotted and well-written, can't ask for more, really - I'll be back for more....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the first chapter 20 May 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having read the review of the person who gave this book 1 star, I know where he's coming from. Just persevere past the first couple of chapters his writing style does improve. I got this book when it was a freebie as I hadn't read anything before by this author and am now looking forward to testing out the rest.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read 11 May 2012
By Jim
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is the first Jake Needham book I've read but it won't be the last. It was great, different to the usual LA cops etc. I usually read, it kept me glued till the final page.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Watch out! 12 Dec 2011
Do not start reading this book if you have plans for anything else on the same day/night. You won't get to those other plans. Gripping from the first page. And it will hold you in its grip till the end. Exciting, thrilling, captivating - all with a smooth writing style that makes you want more. It's a great thriller! I look forward to more enjoyable stories from this author.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Book 1, In the Inspector Samuel Tay series

It was my first experience reading this author and it was most satisfying. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Toni Osborne
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read indeed!
Another good tale from the pen of Jake Needham. He invests his characters and his locations with real life and his descriptions of life and living in Singapore and Bangkok add to a... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Brian X
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
I read the reviews on this book - but to be honest I think they must have been reading a different book. Read more
Published 5 months ago by PollyK
5.0 out of 5 stars Local Singapore Cop takes on the FBI and the establishment
THE AMBASSADOR'S WIFE (An Inspector Samuel Tay Novel) Thank you Jake Needham. I was lucky enough to get this when it was free but still worth the current price. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mr. P. Turnbull
5.0 out of 5 stars A very pleasant surprise
Having immersed myself in British,US, European,and Scandinavian crime fiction this was my first taste of an Asian setting. I am now hooked on Needham and Inspector Tay. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Crofters Joan
5.0 out of 5 stars A very original crime thriller
A brilliant book.
At last something original.
This may not be my best read of the year but it is certainly the most original
This is a crime thriller of the highest... Read more
Published 7 months ago by BostonDave
5.0 out of 5 stars First Class
As usual Jake Needham kept my interest as he took me though the complexity of his storyllines set in a world I have never visited.
Published 7 months ago by .mcmahon
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended
I enjoyed it. It's well written and keeps you involved right through to the end. Enough other reviews have summarised the story so I'll just say if you like a good mystery/crime... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Cleeve51
5.0 out of 5 stars jake needham the ambassadors wife
I really enjoyed the ambassadors wife,to me jake writes like you are there. I can visualise the hot humid air, the sounds the way he smokes, enjoying every lung full and his... Read more
Published 9 months ago by valerie avison
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Enjoyable and not too demanding a read. Not too much violance either.
Sorry there are not any more in the series.
Published 10 months ago by J Lunn
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