In the fourth and final volume of the The Straits Quartet, Charlotte Macleod is the English concubine. Her love affair with Zhen, wealthy Chinese merchant, is an open scandal to both the English and the Chinese communities.
Singapore in 1860 is a vice-ridden town filled “with the dregs of humanity from two continents”. Opium makes up half of the British Empire’s trade in the East and, from Singapore, the Chinese triads control the vast distribution of chandu, the refined opium, which is spread through the south seas. Turf wars are fought on the high seas and on the streets of Chinatown to control the mighty profits of this trade. The colonial government, impoverished and ineffectual, can do nothing about it. Only the Chinese godfather, the Lord of the Kongsi, has that power through his control of the coolie, prostitute and opium trade.
When Zhen is forced to become the godfather of the Kongsi, cracks appear in Charlotte’s world and when Alexander, her son, unaware of his true paternity, arrives from Scotland and begins a secret and incestuous affair with his own half sister, it explodes.
Opium, murder, incest, suicide, passion and love. A heady combination in the sin city of the south seas.
About the author
Dawn Farnham is the author of The Red Thread, The Shallow Seas, The Hills of Singapore and The English Concubine (which comprise The Straits Quartet, a bestselling series of historical romance set in 19th-century Singapore), A Crowd of Twisted Things, a novel set in 1950 Singapore, as well as numerous short stories, plays and children’s books. A former longterm resident of Singapore, Dawn now calls Perth, Australia, home. Learn more about Dawn at www.dawnfarnham.com.