Inspector Mislan and The Playground Murder by
Rozlan Mohd Noor is the latest in a good series of police procedurals set in
and around Kuala Lumper, Malaysia. This sixth book in the series is a slower
read than the previous books though the second half of the book picks up
As always, Detective Sergeant Johan Kamaruddin
and Inspector Mislan Latiff work a number of cases over the course of the book.
Some are solved fairly quickly. One takes longer and serves as the main case of
Such is the case here where the main case regards
the discovery of the body of a woman is found in a park in a wealthy area. In
the park there is a large playground setup for both adults and children. In the
children’s area, near a slide, there is the body of a woman. She is dressed and
curled up in a fetal position and clearly dumped at the park.
It is only later during the postmortem that Detective
Sergeant Johan Kamaruddin and Inspector Mislan Latiff learn that the woman was
pregnant. That fact was not obvious on scene. Somebody, presumably, the killer,
took the baby out of her. Who killed the woman, why, and what happened to the
baby drive the case and thus the primary storyline of the book. Those answers
are dark as is most of the book.
This is not a light read, not that any in this
series are, but the tone of this one is darker than most. Inspector Mislan is
also personally going through some things. The pandemic also still has a tight
grip on normal life. As the book moves forward, Inspector Mislan is struck
again and again how people will do horrible things to each other under the
guise of faith or politics. The world is frequently a sick place and Mislan is
increasingly more aware of that fact more than most.
A slow moving and very complicated police
procedural, Posthumous Child: Inspector Mislan and The Playground Murder
by Rozlan Mohd Noor is not my favorite of the series by a long shot. I found
stretches of it slow and tedious until significant progress is eventually made
on the primary case. Of course, that could easily be the mindset of this reader
and not remotely the fault of the author. This time of year is hard for me and
I am well aware that my mood definitely bleeds over into my reading.
While one could start here, I would recommend
starting with the first book, 21
Immortals: Inspector Mislan and the Yee Sang Murders, and working forward. Each book has the core characters evolving
and going through various things that provide nuance and depth to Inspector
Mislan and others. There is a reason why the good Inspector is the way he is these
days. To pick up on everything in the latest read, one really needs to have
read the previous books.
My reading copy was in digital format and a purchase from Amazon as the Dallas Library system does not have this one and staff refused to pick it up when I requested it months ago.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2023