Year of the Tiger by David Miller

year of the tigerTitle: Year of the Tiger
Author: David Miller
Source: Review Copy
Set in: Singapore
Paperback, 278 pages
Monsoon Books Pte Ltd
Rating: 4 out of 5

My Thoughts:
My only reason for accepting this book for review was that it was set in Singapore. If you read my blog regularly you might know I don’t read many thrillers. It’s not that I don’t like them, it’s just that I don’t actively seek them. So if I’m just going to read a few thrillers every year, I’m glad ‘Year of the Tiger’ was one of them.

This book in set in 2014 Singapore. When workers are digging for a tunnel in Singapore, they stumble upon a secret room filled with loot from the World War II. It’s a vault created by the Japanese and protected with a lethal virus that could affect hundreds of people very quickly. When the workers take the loot and flee Singapore, it creates an epidemic which can only be stopped or controlled if the mystery of the virus can be solved by the clues left by Japanese.

For me the plot itself is a big draw because along with the current story it also gives interesting information on the Japanese during the World War. It’s intriguing to imagine that a small and super developed city like Singapore could have so many secrets. I found the Singapore history and the presence of tunnels and secret rooms in modern-day Singapore fascinating, and because it intermingled seamlessly with the plot, I was one happy reader. Unfortunately I don’t know much about the Japanese occupation of Singapore and this book more or less gave me a teaser without reading like a history lesson. It made me want to study more about that particular time period. How many thrillers can you say that for?  This is also the kind of story that could turn out to be true a few years down the road. That kind of explains part of my fascination to the story.

The involvement of the Japanese in the whole affair makes me wonder how Japanese will react if there was truly a situation like this. I kind of imagine it would be pretty close to the book. As far as the writing goes – it works well for a thriller I guess. The only problem I have is that the language used by the Singaporeans was not really Singaporean. If you have lived in Singapore even for a short while you’ll notice the unique brand of English spoken by the locals here which makes it distinctively Singaporean. While the characters weren’t particularly memorable, the story was enough to keep me occupied.

When I was almost 90% finished with the book I wondered about the end, I was worried about how it was all going to tie up. For me the most important part in the thriller is the ending, It could make or break a book for me. Fortunately, the ending in this book was pretty good. In some parts it was a very simple solution but in some parts it was pretty complicated considering the scale and scope of the problem.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book and I hope there are more books written that are based in Singapore. I’m definitely looking forward to reading more David Miller books, especially if he writes about Singapore. For just 278 pages, ‘Year of the Tiger’ was throughly entertaining.

A Leap of Love and The Leap Year

I borrowed this movie from the library on a whim and I’m so glad I did. I ended up loving it. It was such a feel good, romantic and happy movie. Obviously since it’s a Singaporean movie and I thought they are all made in either Chinese or a non-English language. But surprisingly this is in English although it’s about a Chinese woman and her search for love.

Li-Ann is a young girl when she boldly asks a stranger for a date on 14th Feb. Li-Ann and Jeremy, the stranger, end up spending a few blissful hours together and Jeremy catches a flight back to Canada. It was fun seeing a movie set in Singapore and recognizing the places I had already seen. Without giving away the story though, they meet every leap year and we get to experience Li-Ann’s tangle of emotions through the years. Be it happiness of finding the right man or the disappointment when he doesn’t feel the same. Over the next few years we get to see how every leap year affects Li-ann’s life.

I enjoyed it so much that I looked up for more information on the internet. It’s actually based on ‘A Leap of Love’ by Catherine Lim who is a Chinese Singaporean (although she is from Malaysia) author in her 80’s and a firecracker of a woman. I watched her interview on YouTube and I was so intrigued that I’m planning to read all her backlist.

Anyway, so I found A Leap of Love in the library and ended up loving it too. The movie is very similar to the book where the character sketches and the basic plot are concerned. But there are a few changes in the movie which make for better viewing. The writing in the book is funny and sarcastic and fun to read. It’s a love story, but it’s not the mushy type nor does it have a chick-lit feel (which the movie has).

I cannot recommend the movie to romantic or chick-flick fans. The book is something that can be enjoyed by all though. Highly Recommended.

The book A Leap of Love is for the East and SouthEast Asia Challenge.