Moonrise, Sunset by Gopal Baratham, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Moonrise, Sunset

Moonrise, Sunset

by Gopal Baratham
     
 

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Hours after agreeing to marry How Kum Menon, Vanita Sundram is murdered, stabbed while asleep in her fiance's arms. More killings follow, and the reluctant and grieving How Kum is swept up in the police investigation. As time passes and the murders remain unsolved, several self-proclaimed 'experts' muscle in: How Kum's drunken 'Uncle' Oscar with his underworld

Overview

Hours after agreeing to marry How Kum Menon, Vanita Sundram is murdered, stabbed while asleep in her fiance's arms. More killings follow, and the reluctant and grieving How Kum is swept up in the police investigation. As time passes and the murders remain unsolved, several self-proclaimed 'experts' muscle in: How Kum's drunken 'Uncle' Oscar with his underworld links: the unlikely double-act of an American psycho-sexual healer and his matronly psychic sidekick: and a Hindu holy-man…

A political thriller in the tradition of Graham Greene and Eric Ambler, Moonrise, Sunset enhances Gopal Baratham's reputation as Singapore's most brilliant and controversial writer.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Baratham (A Candle or the Sun) takes the traditional mystery format apart piece by piece, then puts it together again to create a mystical and cerebral novel. How Kum Menon-the son of a Chinese woman and an Indian man-falls asleep in a Singapore park with his fiance, Vanita Sundram, after a romantic evening; but when he wakes up, her bloody, lifeless body is draped over his. She has been stabbed to death, as have a couple in another area of the park, and Menon, after being initially suspected of the murder, is enlisted to help find the real guilty party. The characters are clear and distinct: Jafri al-Misris, Menon's slick lawyer friend; Sundram's vindictive brother and her deeply religious father; and Menon's worried mother (who is suspiciously missing a kitchen knife). Tragedy brings the charlatans out of the woodwork: the "Ayurvedic physician" who advises Sundram's father; the American serial-killer expert brought in to detail the killer's "biosocial make-up"; and psychic Zelda Zoroastris, who plans to solve the murder with the help of a polygraph. Sundram herself continues to appear to Menon after her death, and gives him a hand. Even more impressive than the sharp characterization is Menon's measured narration. Strong, controlled writing full of concrete images keeps the ethereal subject matter in check and carries the plot along with just the right amount of skepticism. (Apr.)
Kirkus Reviews
Celebrating his unofficial engagement to Vanita Sundram by making love to her under the stars in Singapore's East Coast Park, How Kum Menon awakens to find her dead and himself the leading suspect of Inspector Ozzie D'Cruz. Only the news of two other murders the same night—another amorous couple stabbed with the same knife as Vanita—takes How Kum off D'Cruz's Most Wanted list and puts him in the inspector's confidence. Still grieving over the unsolved murder of his own younger sister 15 years ago, D'Cruz is willing to pull out all the stops to solve the current spate of killings (there'll be more). And his investigations send the half-Chinese, half-Malay How Kum, haunted by Vanita's restless presence and his own guilty self-doubts, to a séance arranged by Vanita's brother Kishore and entangle him in the wacky theories of FBI behavioral psychologist Dr. Quincy Sio and the scarcely less idiotic vaporings of Madame Zelda Zoroastris. Lurking all the while in the background are the variously sinister types Vanita finds more typical of contemporary Singapore—from his gossipy multiracial colleagues in the National Airline food service to Vanita's inscrutably Hindu relatives.

The star of Baratham's second English publication (A Candle or the Sun, 1991, not reviewed) is scrubbed, shabby Singapore itself, which puts his cast and their obligatory mysteries quite in the shade.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9789814351362
Publisher:
Marshall Cavendish International (Asia) Pte Ltd
Publication date:
04/07/2015
Edition description:
Revised
Pages:
345
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

The late Dr. Gopal Baratham (1935–2002) was a proud Singaporean, a distinguished writer and a prominent neurosurgeon in about equal parts. He was born in the quiet of the mid-thirties, survived in the turmoil of the fifties and sixties and in the nineties, found the tranquility for writing.

Considered a literary light during his lifetime, his oeuvre consists of five volumes of short stories, three novels and non-fiction book. His first book, A Candle or The Sun, won the Southeast Asia Write Award in 1991 and was short-listed for the Commonwealth Book Prize in 1992. One of the first Singapore writers to have their work published by an overseas publisher, his books also received much international praise.

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