Synopses & Reviews
Smashed skull, snapped ribs, and a cloying smell of carrion. Leave the body for the hyenas to devour—no body, no case.
But Kalahari game rangers stumble on the human corpse mid-meal. The murder wasn't perfect after all. Enter Detective David "Kubu" Bengu of the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department, an investigator whose personality and physique match his moniker, the Setswana word for hippopotamus—which is a seemingly docile beast, but one of the deadliest, and most persistent, on the continent.
Beneath a mountain of lies and superstitions, Kubu uncovers a chain of crimes leading to the most powerful figures in the country—cold-bloodedly efficient and frighteningly influential enemies who can make anyone who gets in their way disappear.
“[An] impressive debut. . . . The intricate plotting, a grisly sense of realism and numerous topical motifs . . . make this a compulsively readable novel. . . . This fast-paced forensic thriller will resonate . . . with fans of Patricia Cornwells Kay Scarpetta.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“More smart than bloody. . . . A marvelous debut.” Boston Globe
“Delightful. . . . Plot twists are fair and well-paced, the Botswana setting has room to breathe and take shape as its own entity, and Stanleys writing style is equal parts sprightly and grave.” Los Angeles Times Book Review
“A first novel saturated with local color. . . . 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
About the Author
Michael Stanley is the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Sears was born in Johannesburg, grew up in Cape Town and Nairobi, and teaches at the University of the Witwatersrand. Trollip was also born in Johannesburg and has been on the faculty of the universities of Illinois, Minnesota, and North Dakota, and at Capella University. He divides his time between Knysna, South Africa, and Minneapolis, Minnesota.