Sunday, 14 December 2014
Hard Drive by Mary Todd and Chistine Villegas
"On June 24, 2012 Dr. Shane Truman Todd, a young American engineer, was found hanging in his Singapore apartment, just a week before his scheduled return to the United States.
Although Shane had repeated expressed apprehension about his work with a Chinese company and fear his life was being threatened, authorities immediately ruled his death a suicide. His family initially didn't know what to believe. However, upon arriving in Singapore, they realised the evidence suggested not suicide, but murder."
This story is an incredibly sad and interesting account of this young man's murder. The book discussed the family's mission to get the Singapore authorities to admit Shane was murdered. He was an electrical engineer working for a large company that was involved in allegedly selling work of technology to the Chinese. Shane believed the work he was doing went against USA national security and was torn against doing his job and the risk involved.
Shane died by hanging in his Singaporean apartment. From the beginning the corruption of the Singapore Police was evident. The investigation was a sham. The parents flew to Singapore meeting with the police and were given the run around and false information. Their attempts at finding out what happened to their son were thwarted at every turn. It truly would have been an incredibly frustrating and heart breaking experience. The book documents their efforts, their negative experiences with the Singapore Police, various authorities in Singapore and to there surprise the United States State Department. Several USA politicians jumped on the band wagon only to jump off again when something better for their careers popped up.
The Todd family is a close family with four sons and the support around them was encouraging. The money and time spent was difficult to imagine in order to clear their son's name from a suicide to a murder.
This story is a very interesting one and anyone interested in this genre would find this an interesting book. My only disappointment with it was one of the author's was Shane's mother and it became a bit emotive at times. It would be difficult to write such a story about your son and remain objective.
I also found the use of many acronyms confusing and could not always remember what they stood for. This seems to be an increasing issue for a number of books especially with fictional crime and true crime. The agency's names, if spelled out, would make it easier for the reader.
I think it is a story worth writing and it goes to show one does not assume governments will do the right thing, including your own government. It was disappointing to know the USA State Department and FBI continued their involvement in this cover up. I guess it continues to confirm the belief that when super power countries (such as China and Singapore) and money are involved one cannot expect a lot of justice for the "little man."
Hard Drive by Mary Todd & Christine Villegas
Published New York by Morgan James publishing
For 2015 - ISBN 978-1-63047-336-5 paperback