by Jolene Tan
Police sergeant Hafiz lies in a coma after a gunshot to the head. The investigation by Internal Affairs uncovered a game of Russian roulette gone wrong, and the case is now closed. But there are rumbles of concern in the Ministry, and middle-aged civil servant Boon Teck—assisted by young colleague Nithya—is dispatched to take another look.
Suffused with mystery and intrigue, After the Inquiry steps into the mirror maze of Singapore’s bureaucracy, where silvered surfaces hide troubling secrets, and those who search for the truth risk getting lost…
About the Author
Jolene Tan is a writer from Singapore, whose fiction includes the novel A Certain Exposure (Epigram Books, 2014), short fiction published in The Manchester Review, and a children's picture book, Saturday's Surprisingly Super-Duper Lesson (Epigram Books, 2020). She has also written numerous non-fiction articles, principally on equality and human rights, for publications such as New Naratif, The Online Citizen, The F Word, The Birthday Book, CNA and The Straits Times. She can be found at www.jolenetan.org
“After the Inquiry is a riveting novel that casually exposes the pitfalls of our iron-clad officialdom. Through her incisive, witty prose, Jolene Tan presents a protagonist who is so comfortably entrenched in our systems that he doesn’t know where they end and where he begins. Part mystery, part character study, this novel reminds us of the shadow narratives that run parallel to the ones we are told about Singapore society’s fine-tuned machinery.”
—Balli Kaur Jaswal, Author of Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows
“After the Inquiry lays bare the human cost of Singapore’s much-vaunted stability, and asks who must be thrown overboard in order for the boat not to be rocked. Using the format of a government inquiry into a violent incident, Jolene Tan carries out her own investigation into the machinations of state apparatus, and presents her findings without comment—the results speak for themselves. A masterpiece of meticulous construction, with a central character whose voice is all the more chilling for its banality.”
—Jeremy Tiang, Winner of the Singapore Literature Prize 2018 (Fiction) for State of Emergency
"Chilling in his reptilian intelligence, Jolene Tan’s protagonist brings to mind Ishiguro’s butler and Adiga’s “white tiger”. After the Inquiry is an incisive portrayal of hierarchy, (a)morality, and authoritarianism."
—Jing-Jing Lee, Author of How We Disappeared
"A gripping novel, both a thriller and an examination into the dark soul of Singaporean bureaucracy. Written in the form of a series of reports, it demonstrates how cool, surgical language can rationalise even the most violent prejudices. A chilling and unforgettable portrait of a functionary who has found all the ways to checkmate his own conscience.”
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ISBN: 978-981-14-6687-8 (paperback) | 978-981-14-9126-9 (e-book)
Published: March 2021
Dimension: 130mm x 200mm