Explanations of conspiracies fascinate me, but only plausible ones. I can enjoy books and movies premised on outlandish schemes—Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Da Vinci Code come to mind—but I can’t get engrossed unless there’s the thought lurking that, hey, this could really have happened. So Syriana appeals to me more than the Mission Impossible series, and Le Carré more than Ludlum. My fiction addresses various conspiracies or unsolved mysteries in a believable fashion. Of course, I’m not offering a definitive solution to riddles such as the disappearance of MH370. That’s for air crash investigators to determine, plus the odd sonar buoy.

When I worked in Hong Kong, my boss said, “There’s the story that the South China Morning Post prints, there’s the apparent story, and there’s the real story. Learn to tell them apart.” By challenging conventional wisdom, fiction can lead to fresh thinking that in turn helps others formulate the solution. Do I think that hijackers landed MH370 in the Irrawaddy delta? No. Do I think that a pilotless MH370 flew along a Doppler-defined arc only to disappear forever in the Southern Ocean? No. There is still plenty to be learned about MH370’s fate. I hope that the book prompts others to investigate further.

Nevertheless, I started writing the Lies thriller series—Pack of Lies is in the works—to entertain rather than to persuade the world of the rightness of my interpretations of otherwise unsatisfactorily explained sequences of events or calamities.

I was raised in Columbus, Ohio, a solid base for future OSU Buckeye fans and insurance salesmen. From my early teens I aspired to live and work abroad. I was a voracious reader, admittedly a much easier addiction to nurture in the pre-cable TV, internet and smart phone age. I remember reading Adam Smith’s engaging The Money Game when I was thirteen and seeing The London School of Economics (“LSE”) mentioned in passing. That name really grabbed my attention as it featured two exotic nouns, London and Economics. So London it was to be!

I enrolled in Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and won a junior year abroad spot at LSE. What LSE lacked in greenery and social (ahem!) opportunities it more than made up for in faculty, the British Library of Political and Economic Science, and the wonderful city of London. I returned to Georgetown for my senior year and then hightailed it back to attend London Business School. I met some great people and grew up a little bit while doing an MBA.

My first job in London lasted less than two months before I was shipped to Singapore for a four-month project to get me away from head office (rather than undertake anything momentous in the Far East). That short-term project is now in its thirty-third year. Along the way, I’ve been fortunate enough to live mostly in Singapore, but also logged the majority of the 1990s in Hong Kong plus stops in Kuala Lumpur, Bangalore and Colombo.

I’ve worked as a strategy consultant, venture capitalist and investment banker with the longer stretches spent in stockbroking and capital markets outsourcing. Throughout my work life, common threads include punchy business writing, financial markets, and political incorrectness. As Michael Lewis already owns this space, I’ve looked further afield.

Sea of Lies is the culmination of investigations dating back almost thirty years. In 1985 a leading Asia newspaper alleged that my Singapore flat mate was the Singapore CIA Chief of Station. This came as news to both of us. I have questioned appearances versus reality ever since. MH370’s disappearance spurred me to write this first novel. In 2014, I traveled to Burma three times to research Sea of Lies, meeting several characters who appear in fictional form. I crafted the story from these people, public research and my Asia experiences since 1983.

My wife, two sons and I live in Singapore. I’m a keen mountain biker, baseball coach and fisherman. I enjoy red wine, dark chocolate and raucous friends around the table.