Lost Women by Neil Humphreys

Title: Lost Women (Inspector Low #4)

Author: Neil Humphreys

Published on: 20 April 2023

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers | Police Procedural

Buy on Amazon: Kindle | Paperback

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Lost Women is the fourth book in Neil Humphreys’ Inspector Low Mystery series.

In the Essex marshlands, twelve women are found abandoned in the back of a truck. Armed with knives but with nothing to say, except Grace. She will only speak to DI Stanley Low.

Flown in to assist and aid his ex-colleague, and sometime lover, Met detective Ramila Mistry, Low finds himself confronting a global trafficking ring.

They must hurry. Another truck is being prepared. Another twelve, vulnerable women are being groomed. Low can only find them by uncovering the ugliest of truths.

I was so excited to hear that my favorite Chinese-Singaporean detective, Stanley Low, is back with yet another riveting mystery. This time, the focus is on abuse of domestic helpers.

Twelve women are found in the back of a truck in Essex Marshlands. The man who found them has informed the local police. The women don’t seem to understand or speak English, except for one… in her broken English, she says she will only speak to Inspector Low of Singapore Police Department.

Met detective Ramila Mistry is assigned to the case. She and Stanley Low have a past. She’s moved on but the same cannot be said for Low. Meanwhile, back in Singapore, Inspector Low is assigned to crack down the prostitution ring. The only jobs that seemed to have thrived during the lockdown are that at masseuse and brothels. His latest job involves stopping a prostitution ring run by a man named Ah Meng (recurring character).

Then, Low is asked to go to London to investigate the case of the twelve women found in the truck. The woman who asked for Low is Grace – a former prostitute known to Low when he was undercover. She had known of his real identity but kept it a secret from her pimp/boss. Soon, Grace and Low were on friendly terms.

The case takes Low and Mistry back to Singapore where the illegal human trafficking first began. The clues lead them to domestic help agencies. The story focuses on the domestic and migrant workers scenario in Singapore. It also brings forward racial profiling, discrimination based on status (rich/middle class/ poor), exploitation of migrant workers, harsh living conditions of migrant workers, and much more.

In my review of previous installments, I mentioned this book is an eye-opener of sorts for me. I always believed Singapore as a place where everything seems nice and good – a dream destination. It’s not just the discrimination but the overall outlook on humanity – under the lush greenery and expensive looking buildings, there’s dirt, blood, and exploitation.

Low is not your usual badass detective. He’s the badass of badasses. He gives no shit about his superiors or the higher ups in the government. This ALWAYS gets him into trouble. But he doesn’t care. He believes in justice and would go to any extent to get it. He’s also troubled by the ways rich and politicians’ swipe things under the rug – things when exposed only results in their downfall.

I was hooked on to the story and couldn’t put it down until the end. Having read the first two books, I was eagerly looking forward to seeing how things have improved for Stanley. Though his life seems to be in shambles, he still has that fire and passion to make things right – for those who deserve justice.

It goes without saying that Neil Humphreys is a master storyteller. Be it the character portrayal or murder mystery, Neil’s the best.

I don’t think this book can be read as a standalone – no cliffhangers but the main character’s story is a continuation. I suggest you start from the beginning so that you have an idea of the series-plot as well as get a clear understanding of the characters and their roles in the series.

Lost Women by Neil Humphreys is an engrossing, interesting and completely riveting police procedural. Highly Recommended.

I received an ARC from Muswell Press and NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.

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