#BookReview by Lou Waking The Tiger by Mark Wightman @mark_wightman @HobeckBooks #Thriller #HistoricalNoir

Waking The Tiger
By Mark Wightman

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Firstly, congratulations to Mark Wightman for making it to the Shortlist for Bloody Scotland with Waking The Tiger. What an achievement for a debut novelist!
This, readers, is a stunning, captivating thriller that is historical noir. Discover more in the blurb and my review and check out the eye-catching cover. It is stunning! You can also find out more about this author below. Thanks to Hobeck Books for gifting me this book.

Waking The Tiger cover


For fans of Abir Mukerhjee and Donna Leon, Mark Wightman’s brilliant debut novel is historical crime fiction at its very best.

Singapore, 1939

A young Japanese woman is found dead on the dockside, her throat slashed

Inspector Maximo Betancourt is working a new beat, one he didn’t ask for. Following the disappearance of his wife, his life and career have fallen apart.

A distinctive tiger tattoo is the only clue to her identity

Once a rising star of Singapore CID, Betancourt has been relegated to the Marine Division, with tedious dockyard disputes and goods inspections among his new duties.

Who is she? And why are the authorities turning a blind eye?

But when a beautiful, unidentified Japanese woman is found murdered in the shadow of a warehouse owned by one of Singapore’s most powerful families, Betancourt defies orders and pursues those responsible. What he discovers will bring him into conflict with powerful enemies, and force him to face his personal demons.


Waking The Tiger coverThis is a thriller that grips in the depths of mysterious characters and as much crime as it has in beauty. Readers are in for a treat!

Firstly, there is a wonderful map with a key beside it, which aids beautifully for the location. There is also some cleverly placed mild humour, which adds some entertainment, that adds to the light and shade of this twisty historical noir.
You wouldn’t guess it was a debut, making Mark Wightman an author to look out for, for this and future books.

The descriptions, right from the beginning are integral to setting the scene and it is done so well and add colour and life in a contextual sense. Immediately a picture forms that leads you deep into this compelling thriller.

The characters Kuo and Betancourt are ones that are compelling to know more about as their lives are anything straightforward. There lies the theme of being a bit of and outsider and not being a total fit creates intrigue about them.

There is a richness in the historical facts, which adds some colour as it is quite dark underneath. Readers are led into the depths of crime and down to the ports and trade routes. There is theft of government bonds, human trafficking. Guthrie is caught up in so much in this thriller that easily hooks you in, with its themes and situations that readers will recognise historically and contemporarily.

Buy Link – Amazon

About the Author

Mark Wightman was born in Edinburgh before growing up in the Far East, first in Hong Kong and then in Singapore. He is fascinated by exploring the elements of history that lie at the margins, where the recorded facts have either faded or been hidden. After a successful career in media technology, Mark completed master’s degrees in Creative Writing at the Universities of Edinburgh and East Anglia, where he received a distinction for his debut novel Waking the Tiger. Mark was the winner of the Pitch Perfect event at the Bloody Scotland Crime Festival, also for Waking the Tiger, and was selected to be one of the seventeen UNESCO City of Literature Story Shop emerging writers at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. He lives in Scotland.



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