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Who the Hell is Harry Black?" by Jake Needham

In "Who the Hell is Harry Black?" by Jake Needham, a mystery unfolds on a desolate Thai beach where an eighty-six-year-old man is shot by a skilled sniper. The question lingers: Why eliminate an elderly man nearing the end of his life? Inspector Tay, a respected yet eccentric detective in Singapore, steps into the investigation.


The narrative, part of the Inspector Tay series, delves into the events leading to Harry Black's demise. Harry, seeking to unveil hidden secrets, approaches a well-known true crime writer in England. These secrets, related to 'the greatest crime of the twentieth century,' ultimately make him a target. Unlike Tay, readers are privy to the motive behind Harry's assassination, creating an intriguing dynamic.


As the plot unfolds, both Tay and the reader embark on a journey to unravel the crime Harry had concealed. Needham skillfully introduces surprises, disclosing the identity of the assassin. The novel weaves its tale in classic mystery fashion, providing a thoroughly enjoyable reading experience.




PS: As a fellow writer, I was amused by Needham’s reflection on the novelist’s motivation:


“But the amount of money you made reflected how many books you sold, and it was the number of sales that made a writer or broke a writer. Whether it was the money you cared about or not, it was the money that mattered in the end.”

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Jackson Coppley

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