Let's just call a spade a spade. The Black Isle is pretty much Singapore transmogrified into something unrecognizable, but still familiar. it is unfortunate but thic book comes across as a mish-mash of historic, fantasy and magic realism, with altered realism winning out in the end.
As a resident of the 'Black Isle', as Sandi once was, I have to say this is a mess of what could have been a really interesting book. She could not decide if she was going for an alternate history or ghost story or drama so everything is thrown at the wall and fingers crossed, something will stick. Nope. It all slides down and there is a putrid mess of a plot left on the floor.
There are nudges/winks to aspect/life of Singapore history and locale but the problem is for 'islanders' such as myself, it deters from the flow of whatever plot ere might be. For non-islander, it is hard to anchor onto any semblance of coherence in the plot.
Someone at Grand Central have been drinking too much Cool-Aid and thinking of passing this off as some new-age exoticism.
This is not haunting. It is a nightmare.