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 when Kalahari game rangers stumble on a human corpse midmeal, it turns out the murder wasn't perfect after all. Enough evidence is left to suggest foul play. Detective David "Kubu" Bengu of the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department is assigned to the case.
The detective's personality and physique match his moniker. The nickname "Kubu" is Setswana for "hippopotamus" a seemingly docile creature, but one of the deadliest on the continent. Beneath Kubu's pleasant surface lies the same unwavering resolve that makes the hippopotamus so deceptively dangerous. Both will trample everything in their path to reach an objective.
From the sun-baked riverbeds of the Kalahari to the highest offices of an international conglomerate, Kubu follows a blood-soaked trail in search of answers.
Beneath a mountain of lies and superstitions, he uncovers a chain of crimes leading to the most powerful figures in the country influential enemies who will kill anyone in their way.
A memorable detective makes his debut in this gritty, mesmerizing thriller. Set amid the beauty and darkness of contemporary Africa, A Carrion Death is the first entry in an evocative new series cutting to the heart of today's Botswana a modern democracy threatened by unstable neighbors, poachers, and diamond smugglers. Those trying to expose the corrupt ringleaders will find themselves fighting for their lives....
"This impressive debut from Stanley, the South African writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip, introduces overweight assistant superintendent David Bengu of the Botswana Police Department, whose nickname is, fittingly, Kubu (Setswanan for hippopotamus). In investigating the case of a partially consumed human body found in a remote area of a game reserve, Kubu keeps running across tangential links to Botswana Cattle and Mining, the country's largest company. As more people connected to the case turn up dead, Kubu realizes that multiple murder may be just the byproduct of a much more heinous crime. The intricate plotting, a grisly sense of realism and numerous topical motifs (the plight of the Kalahari Bushmen, diamond smuggling, poaching, the homogenization of African culture, etc.) make this a compulsively readable novel. Despite a shared setting with Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, this fast-paced forensic thriller will resonate more with fans of Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"This well-plotted debut introduces a new mystery series and will enthrall readers." School Library Journal
"Rich with the atmosphere of modern Botswana, and peopled with interesting and well-drawn characters...an exciting debut, which will leave readers looking forward to reading the next investigation of Assistant Superintendent Kubu." Booklist
"The story...is complicated but well thought-out, with clues that will have readers flipping back chapters to check alibis and opportunities....[A] marvelous debut." Boston Globe
In A Carrion Death, a memorable new detective makes his debut in a gritty and evocative new series set amid the beauty and darkness of contemporary Africa.
About the Author
Michael Stanley is the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. The pair has had many adventures together, including tracking lions at night, fighting bush fires on the Savuti plains in northern Botswana, surviving a charging elephant, and losing their navigation maps while flying over the Kalahari. Sears lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. Trollip divides his time between South Africa and Minneapolis, Minnesota. They are currently at work on the second Detective Kubu thriller.