Q&A with author Neil Humphreys
Your book has details on things like police procedures, autopsies, Low's bipolar disorder and the murders' settings. How did you conduct your research?
There's a doctor that I speak to when I need to clarify the injuries and symptoms. There's a key murder in the book where the victim takes a long time to die and I needed to be sure that was plausible.
And there's a former detective, now retired, who I will call to check that the right weapons are being used and how the other officers might address one another.
But to be honest, that's as far as I'll go and deliberately so. My books need to be accurate but they are not textbooks on police procedures.
Who's your favourite character and why?
With characters, it's important not to write plot devices, but real people. I try to give enough rich detail that, in theory, every one of my characters could be spun off into a separate series.
But, of course, I always return to the incomparable Detective Inspector Stanley Low. He's as intelligent as he is socially inept and he says the things the rest of us
can only dream of.
You've said before that Inspector Low was written with Adrian Pang in mind. Do you have any other actors you would like to see play your other characters?
(Pang's) stage work has constantly shown that he has the nuance and subtlety to go with the explosiveness required!
Adrian has been very supportive and is eager to be involved but it's not easy to get a decent page-turner up on to the Singapore screen.
I don't know why. It's a shame because there's so much meaty dialogue for the likes of Adrian, Chin Han and Lim Kay Tong to get stuck into.
What advice would you give to aspiring crime
and humour writers?
Do something else! No one reads books or printed media anymore! That would be my first bit of advice.
But in all seriousness, read as much as possible to a) keep your dying industry alive and b) discover as many literary voices as possible
to help you shape your own.