I was kindly sent this in exchange for my honest review.
The Red Thread is book one of the The Straits Quartet – set in colonial era Singapore.
The author lived in modern Singapore for many years and has written several books sit in the country’s past.
I found it quite hard to get into this book to begin with – which follows Charlotte McLeod as she travels from Scotland to be with her brother who has been appointed to head up the first police force in the British colony.
It also tells the story of two young men, Zhen and Qian, who travel at the same time from China in search of success and fortune.
Their paths will cross with Charlotte’s with explosive personal results.
There’s some quite raunchy sex scenes so maybe don’t leave this lying around if you’ve got young children who are learning to read (it happened to my friend with a different book).
Anyway, back to the book.
Once I got into the plot a bit more it picked up a pace and was really easy and pleasant a read.
There are some sad moments and as I said some very sexy ones. The story is peppered with real people and sits into a historical narrative, including Raffles, who founded modern Singapore, but has already returned to England as Charlotte arrives.
I enjoy historical fiction that gives context as the plot unfolds, as this does, rather than giving a history lesson before the story.
Although one day I am getting a time machine and going back to tell all these daft women living in tropical climates to throw away their petticoats and crinolines asap and swap them for sensible native dress.
The ending seems quite final – so it would be interesting to see where the story picks up in the next book.