REVIEW: Deadly Harvest: A Detective Kubu Mystery (Detective Kubu #4) by Michael Stanley Synopsis: (From Goodreads)
Girls are disappearing in Botswana. The rumor is they're being harvested for muti, a witch doctor's potion traditionally derived from plants and animals—and which, some believe, can be made more potent by adding human remains. Detective David "Kubu" Bengu joins the investigation with the police force's newest detective—and only woman—Samantha Khama, for whom the case is personal.
Soon one girl's father, convinced that his daughter's death is linked to the recent popularity of a political candidate, takes the law into his own hands. After the father flees, what Kubu and Samantha find in the politician's home confirms their worst fears: muti containing human DNA is real.
Now Kubu and Samantha are thrust into a harrowing race to stop a serial killer or killers—and those who would pay for their special, lethal muti.
I was privileged enough to be asked by the authors of Deadly Harvest to review their novel.
Their novels are based in Botswana and features Detective David “Kubu” Bengu, his nickname Kubu meaning Hippo.
As some of you might know, I’m not always keen on reading books set in South Africa or Africa, as there is always some political twist which I don’t really care for. But when the authors asked me I couldn’t refuse, as they tempted me with the fact that this was a murder mystery.
The book started off very well and was easy to read. It grabbed my attention from the get go and I found that I didn’t want to put it down. The book had very little political interest and centred more on a problem that most African countries struggle with – Muti Killings.
The characters were also well thought out, and the way they were described to the reader you could really get a clear mental picture of who they are and what they look like. I was drawn to a couple of characters to tell you the truth.
The dialect of the book was also not disappointing. Many authors sometimes don’t really know how the local folk talk, but these authors sure had done their research and the story just flowed, you really got the sense that you were there, in Botswana, with the locals.
We get introduced also to a new detective, Samantha Khama. At first you might think she’s a bit of a loner and wants to impress everyone by doing things herself, but then the author gives you a glimpse into her past, and you grow to really like her. I loved the way they connected her with the rest of the story. This is also the first in the series where detective Khama is featured.
So, if you’ve read the book you would know there is also an election involved in the storyline, and you might ask me but how could I say the book had no political connotations? Well, these authors were great, they made the elections a part of the story, but also didn’t overshadow anything else in the book with that. The major focus is the unit in the police who are investigating the disappearance of the young girls around the city.
Another really great thing about the book was how there were so many twists and turns. I literally sometimes felt that I had it all figured out, and then I would read a little further and be flabbergasted to see that I was totally wrong, not just a little, but a lot! It keeps things interesting and that’s another reason you just won’t be able to put the book down, you want to know what the heck is going on and who is behind it all.
There was one lose end for me in the book, and not a major one.
The father of one of the missing girls goes on a mission by himself to find out what happened to his daughter. He goes on quite a rampage and thinks he knows what’s up (and he is very nearly right), but then he does something stupid and ends up on the run. From here, yes, the storyline does make sense, but it was a bit lose fitted for me to really go with. It did however not spoil anything in the book.
I must say that it’s been a long time since I’ve picked up a book with and African plot and mind-set and not been disappointed. This book (and I bet the series) could compete with any international crime drama or murder mystery. There was almost nothing that disappointed me about this book, and for that I want to say to the authors, well done!!!
I gave this one 4 stars.
Definitely one of my new favourites.