"The Straits Quarter (Vol.3): The Hills of Singapore" by Dawn Farnham (English Edition)
In Vol.3 of The Straits Quartet, young, beautiful and wealthy widow Charlotte Macleod leaves Batavia in the 1850s and returns to Singapore for the English education of her two young sons. She is determined not to be drawn back into a secret affair with Zhen, the married Chinese merchant, triad-member and man she loves who is, unbeknownst to him, the father of her eldest son, Alex. Charlotte is convinced she can find happiness in a respectable marriage with the attractive but reticent Captain Maitland. But when murder and death strike, Singapore erupts in the violence of triad wars and Zhen’s growing affection for Alex gives cause for alarm, she must make some hard decisions, for her children and herself. Drawing on the real-life historical personalities of the time, Dawn Farnham mixes fact and fiction to paint a rich portrait of mid-nineteenth-century Singapore and the realm of the White Rajah of Sarawak, at a time when triads, piracy and crime were rife and life in colonial Southeast Asia was anything but safe.