Deadly Harvest (Detective Kubu Book 4) Kindle Edition
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From the Back Cover
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.--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
"Assistant Superintendent Kubu is back....Michael Stanley's enthralling series is a must-read for anyone who enjoys clever plotting, terrific writing, and a fascinating glimpse of today's Africa."--Charles Todd, New York times bestselling author of A Matter of Justice
"[Kubu is] the African Columbo."--Entertainment Weekly
""Deadly Harvest" is number four in this fascinating crime series. Detective David 'Kubu' Bengu is a wonderful creation, complex and beguiling...Compelling and deceptively written, it's the perfect summer read."--"New York Journal of Books"
"One of the finest crime thrillers of 2013."--"SHOTS Crime & Thriller Ezine"
Kubu is also hugely appealingbig and solid and smart enough to grasp all angles of this mystery. Readers may be lured to Africa by the landscape, but it takes a great character like Kubu to win our loyalty. --New York Times Book Review"
Assistant Superintendent Kubu is back....Michael Stanley s enthralling series is a must-read for anyone who enjoys clever plotting, terrific writing, and a fascinating glimpse of today s Africa. --Charles Todd, New York times bestselling author of A Matter of Justice"
[Kubu is] the African Columbo. --Entertainment Weekly"
"Deadly Harvest" is number four in this fascinating crime series. Detective David Kubu Bengu is a wonderful creation, complex and beguiling Compelling and deceptively written, it s the perfect summer read. --"New York Journal of Books""
One of the finest crime thrillers of 2013. --"SHOTS Crime & Thriller Ezine""
Kubu is also hugely appealing big and solid and smart enough to grasp all angles of this mystery. Readers may be lured to Africa by the landscape, but it takes a great character like Kubu to win our loyalty. --New York Times Book Review"
Deadly Harvest is number four in this fascinating crime series. Detective David Kubu Bengu is a wonderful creation, complex and beguiling Compelling and deceptively written, it s the perfect summer read. --New York Journal of Books"
These darker, grittier entries featuring the portly and perceptive Detective Kubu blend intricate plotting and a compelling cast. --Booklist"
Grisly murders and heart-wrenching societal issues mark fascinating police procedural [Deadly Harvest] . Sears and Trollip write so seamlessly . An intricate crime puzzle. --St. Paul Pioneer Press"
Believable and utterly menacing . Tight plotting is seasoned with African culture. --Steve Steinbock, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine"
One of the finest crime thrillers of 2013. --SHOTS Crime & Thriller Ezine"
"Deadly Harvest is number four in this fascinating crime series. Detective David 'Kubu' Bengu is a wonderful creation, complex and beguiling...Compelling and deceptively written, it's the perfect summer read."--New York Journal of Books
"These darker, grittier entries featuring the portly and perceptive Detective Kubu blend intricate plotting and a compelling cast."--Booklist
"Grisly murders and heart-wrenching societal issues mark... fascinating police procedural [Deadly Harvest].... Sears and Trollip write so seamlessly.... An intricate crime puzzle."--St. Paul Pioneer Press
"Believable and utterly menacing.... Tight plotting is seasoned with African culture."--Steve Steinbock, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
"One of the finest crime thrillers of 2013."--SHOTS Crime & Thriller Ezine --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- File size : 2500 KB
- Print length : 496 pages
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Publisher : ORENDA BOOKS; UK ed. edition (30 October 2015)
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Page numbers source ISBN : 0062221523
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- ASIN : B0167221EM
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: 361,706 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
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In Deadly Harvest we meet Samantha at very much the start of her career as a Detective within the Criminal Investigation Unit. Ultra keen but facing the usual prejudice that comes with being the only female Detective in the unit it feels as though everything she is faded with is a battle - not only to find the truth but to find acceptance and acknowledgement from her male peers. Because of this she comes across as a little hard, even standoffish, and when you compare to the more relaxed but no less passionate Kubu, I began to wonder if she could ever find her rhythm or her place. But as it is, it is Samantha who pushes to be allowed to investigate a seemingly impossible case, that of a missing girl from local township, someone the police believe to have just run away. Samantha is not convinced, and over the course of the novel we learn why, and why she is right to feel there is something more than just a case of a young girl who has run away from home.
As readers we are in a unique position - we are with the girl, Lesego, as she is walking home from school. She is bright, happy, perhaps a little distracted, but certainly shows no signs that she would run away, and in the scenes that follow her naivete is clear to all, her fate a little less so. It hardly comes as a surprise that those moments in which we watch her accept a lift from a 'friend' are the last time anyone sees her. I could feel the sense of foreboding build, that innate response that makes you want to tell the girl not to go with the other person, whoever they may be. And yet you have to accept the inevitable, as unpalatable as it may be. It is, sadly, a reflection of life, the story built as it is upon a real life case, one which forms the emotional heart of the story and the reason behind Samantha's insistence the case is investigated.
This is a very complex story that takes us beyond the usual child abduction plotline to something quite a bit darker. When it comes to the fate of the children, whilst their final moments are left off the page, we are left in no doubt as to what has happened to them. The story draws heavily on the idea of traditional medicine, of Witch Doctors and muti, often used for it's healing properties but given the right belief and the right 'ingredients', often believed to be capable of instilling good fortune and great power upon the person who takes it. And in a country being ravaged by AIDS and HIV you can understand why people may turn to alternative methods of medicine. If only the motives in this case were quite so pure. What we find is less about health and more about greed and it led me to despise the people abusing their power, and their wealth, at the expense of the poorer and, in their eyes, more expendable communities around them.
As a lead character, Kubu is a fantastic character. We get to know not only him but his family, and his dedication to them and the job is heartwarming. As a mentor to Samantha he guides her well, and rather than trying to hold her back, tries to take on board all that she brings to him even where, on occasion, he feels her theories fanciful. They do contrast as characters but also compliment each other and they are a brilliant combo to spend time with. There is one other character whose perspective we hear a lot of throughout this book, Witness, the father of one of the missing girls. I felt so much sympathy for him, felt his pain emanate from the page, and even where I didn't approve of his ultimate actions, I could understand what drove him to them. Grief is an overwhelming emotion and at times his loss was so intense, it made my reactions to the story far more visceral.
The authors capture the essence of the country and the traditions beautifully, the language used carefully to not only to not only drive the story and maintain the tension and sense of unease, but also to create an absolute sense of place. From the city environs to the small townships, that sense of community and tradition that flows through the books gives it a real feeling of authenticity. This is not a pacy novel, it shouldn't be, but you never feel as though the tension lets up and there are some moments of high action and real jeopardy that get the pulses racing. There is also an kind of inevitability about some of what happens, and an overwhelming feeling of loss at times, but this is tempered with the fun and gentle scenes in which Kubu spends time with his family, wife Joy and daughter, Tumi and a small temporary addition to the family, Nono, whose only living relative has been recently lost to AIDS. Seeing the four of them together, even with Kubu's extended family, really brings a smile to my face and gives a sense of the man behind the Detective.
Tense, emotional, original and perfectly paced, I loved this and can't wait to read more in the series. Definitely recommended.
Assistant Superintendent David 'Kubu' Bengu is in a preoccupied and worried mood. As if it were not enough to have to deal with the politics of important appointments in the Botswana Police force that will likely impact him and his boss, Director Mabaku, the recruitment of the first female detective on the force, Samantha Khama, creates a stir. She has been assigned, at her request it turns out, to dig into several cold cases of young girls who had disappeared without a trace on their way from school. A new case of such disappearance brings Samantha's work into the spotlight. Is there a connection between the cases, somehow?
The circumstances of Tombi's disappearance resemble the earlier one of Lesego in another town and Samantha is on the case as best as she can, considering the lack of evidence. Kubu's role in mentoring Samantha opens up a new level of cooperation and understanding. With her work and his new case of a gruesome physical "message" at the door of a popular politician, concern grows that the work of one or more witchdoctors may be involved in some way. The question is why and for whose apparent benefit? The still widely held belief in their traditional powers, physical and mental, over their "clients" can even affect the most modern and rational of individuals...
How these threads are or are not connected and what and who else is drawn into the real or imagined densely woven spider net of "witchdoctors", keep us readers, above all else, captivated. Suffice to add that traditional healers and witchdoctors make use of a wide assortment of 'muti', strong traditional medicine, that can be used to help, but can also be used to harm: the most dangerous version "sometimes contains body parts". The story threads are intricately interwoven in this novel; twists and surprise turns in the narrative keep the answers to the questions we might have until the end. In addition to the central characters around Kubu,familiar from earlier novels, the new characters come to life and reflect well their complex nature and behaviour. And, without overloading the central themes of the novel, the authors touch on other relevant topics, such as HIV and Alzheimer's, and, of course, power and politics, that complement the portrait of the community.
In DEADLY HARVEST, important aspects of traditional beliefs are being explored and with them the continuing strong influence of traditional healers and witchdoctors in present day life. Their 'muti' is usually taken from plants and sometimes animals; however, unfortunately, it is sometimes also taken from those whose powerful spirits and body parts are perceived to be especially strong, such as girls or, another case developed in the novel, albinos. As the authors explain in the Acknowledgements, much of the Botswana background and the story aspects, including the references to 'muti', are based on facts. [Friederike Knabe]