Philanthropists: Inspector Mislan and the Executioners by Rozlan Mohd Noor begins in early 2020 as Covid is just beginning to become a worldwide threat. In these early days just before lockdowns and societal disruptions, Inspector Mislan Abdul Latif of the Office of Special Investigations (D9) biggest issue is trying to deal with the fact that his young son is living with his ex-wife and he is still haunted by being shot a few months ago. While he would never admit it, he is lonely and the job is pretty much all he has in his life outside of the occasional call to his son. He thinks he has everything under control and nobody sees his loneliness. He thinks that nobody notices how there is a second or two of hesitation when he enters a crime scene and smells the spilled blood.
He would be wrong.
His assistant, Detective Sergeant Johan Kamaruddin certainly notices and did once again at their latest call out. Summoned to the scene of a double murder by Inspector Shahira Adanan, they arrived at just after 2:30 in the morning at a two-story house located across the city from their office. The last house on a dead-end road in a quiet neighborhood. At least, the neighborhood was quiet, until flooded by a horde of police vehicles with their flashing lights and chattering radios.
The home is sparsely furnished which leads Inspector Mislan Latif to believe that it is a rental. In the master bedroom there are two dead men lying on their side in bed facing each other. Each man has been shot twice. Once in the back and once in the back of the head. Both are shirtless.
While their wallets and other identification is missing, they were found with several different packages of various drugs stacked on the bed between them. No sign of their phones, electronic devices, mail or paperwork of any kind, or anything else that would identify them. All investigators have at this point are two very dead bodies and a pile of drugs.
Who they are is the first of many questions Inspector Mislan Latif and his team have to answer in the Philanthropists: Inspector Mislan and the Executioners. Things get complicated quickly as getting answers gets more and more difficult due to whom the victims were and the rapidly escalating threat of Covid.
A significant portion of the read is devoted to Inspector Mislan’s recollections of events in the various previous books. Especially the events of the last book, Soulless: Inspector Mislanand the Faceless Girl, which led to his being critically injured. If you have not read the proceeding books, it would be best to read them in order starting with 21 Immortals: Inspector Mislan and the Yee Sang Murders before you embark on this very good read.
My reading copy was a digital arc via NetGalley. Publication date is currently scheduled for March 7th.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2023
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