In the southern Kalahari area of Botswana – an arid landscape of legends that speak of lost cities, hidden wealth, and ancient gods – a fractious ranger named Monzo is found dying from a severe head wound in a dry ravine. Three Bushmen surround the doomed man, but are they his killers or there to help? Detective David “Kubu” Bengu is on the case, an investigation that his old school friend Khumanego claims is motivated by racist antagomism on the part of the local police. But when a second bizarre murder, and then a third, seem to point also to the nomadic tribe, the intrepid Kubu must journey into the depths of the Kalahari to uncover the truth. What he discovers there will test all his powers of deduction…and his ability to remain alive.
This novel was very enjoyable. From the first page I was drawn into the story and couldn’t put it down. After I finished the book I discovered that it is actually the third story about Detective Kubu. I can’t wait to read the others but there was no sense of missing out on anything. The book stands alone very well.
The book reminded me of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency for several reasons – they are both mysteries and they both take place in Africa. But the writing style is also similar. I’m not sure how to describe it but it is a very relaxing, laid back type writing style. There is none of the nail biting suspense of a typical western mystery novel. And this isn’t a bad thing (at least not for me). I love this writing style, which doesn’t make the story boring or meandering – just much more enjoyable.
The novel has everything a good mystery should have – murder, intrigue, near death experiences, and an unexpected resolution. Overall, I really liked this book and can’t wait to read the first two Kubu novels and anymore that Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip may write!
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