Lots of muti to chew with an unrelenting, dangerous plot
IT HAS been suggested that Detective Kubu Bengu, hero of this series of detective thrillers set in Botswana, should be a contender for his own series like Alexander McCall Smith’s and I agree.
This sixth book in the series was my introduction to the African crime fighter; I look forward to reading all the books.
Real Africa, colloquial language, Botswana and the Kalahari unfold like the evening sky anywhere on the continent.
In this novel, already acclaimed by critics worldwide, the likeable, home-loving Bengu and his resilient young detective assistant Samantha Khama, plus a collection of savoury and non-savoury characters, tell a tale of death, deceit and intrigue in the sun, with conviction.
Greed in Africa is a contemporary
Dying to Live
calamity, ruthless people from all communities including foreign ones, daily conspire to plunder whatever in Africa spells quick bucks.
Kubu is faced with an intriguing mystery of a Bushman’s body which on autopsy appears ancient, but possessing the internal organs of a much younger man.
There is a lot of muti to chew – literally, as you will discover – but the plot, woven into the harsh desert backdrop, is as unrelenting and dangerous as the arena in which the investigation twists its way.
No detective novel worth its salt is without a forensics man, and here it is provided by a Scottish doctor, as dry as the bush in which he plies his trade, but nonetheless, fond of a tipple. He acts as a placating sounding board for Kubu (Setswana for hippopotamus) and with the police director, the energetic Khama, an enterprising Bushman policeman what turns out to be… Well, I won’t spoil the story.
Brought up on Simenon, Christie and Sayers, masters of their trade, it was refreshing to read a book devoid of gratuitous violence and saturated with sex.
Don’t be fooled, however, there is plenty of graphic detail and description to keep everyone satisfied.
As academics, the writers have had the experience to include a glossary so that readers unaccustomed to Africa and the local language may feel more comfortable with the vernacular.
Michael Stanley is the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip, and both were born in South Africa.
OTHER OPTIONS: Other books in the popular A Detective Kubu Mystery series.