by Michael Stanley
Read: May 1-13, 2013
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 21
Source: TLC Book Tours
As the trail grows cold, Samantha – a new detective (and the only woman) with the Botswana police force – is reminded of a childhood friend who had gone missing, and she devotes herself to keeping the first case open. She suspects that the girl was killed for muti, the traditional African medicine usually derived from plants and sometimes animals. But recent evidence shows that human parts are being incorporated into certain potions to conjure up a supposedly more potent formula. Detective Kubu joins forces with Samantha to take the investigation to the next level.
Meanwhile, Witness is convinced that his daughter, too, was murdered for muti – for a potion to ensure an election victory for opposition leader Marumo. On the night of Marumo’s win, Witness waits outside the politician’s home and murders him before fleeing town. Now Kubu and Samantha have yet another murder investigation on their hands, and the search of Marumo’s home yields a sample of muti that confirms their worst fears: the formula includes traces of human DNA and remains.
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.
Review: I don’t really know where to start with this review.So I guess I should start with the one thing that is weighing heavily on my mind about this book. As a mother, I was absolutely appalled that the police just ignored the fact that they had children going missing. They didn’t have enough workers to start a search … they would begin looking on Monday. SAY WHAT!?! I was absolutely disgusted by that. In the United States when a child goes missing it is a very big deal – as it should be. The whole idea that the police would start looking in a “few days” for a child who has gone missing was a little beyond comprehension in my opinion. I don’t know if that is how things are done in other countries, but I had a very big issue with it – it bothered me a lot.
I was definitely glad when Samantha entered the picture and started actually paying attention to the fact that young girls were going missing and no one was doing anything about it. It was a definitely relief for me that someone in the book cared! I think that’s probably part of the reason why I really liked her character. I can’t imagine trying to be a woman detective in Africa! I was glad that she had the backing of Kubu – he really stepped outside the comfort zone of most detectives to be of assistance to her. And Kubu, oh what a character he is! Smart and likeable, a great combination for sure! I think I saw my favorite side of him while we were getting insight into his personal life, between him and his wife adopting Nono and the visits to his parents’ house on Sunday, we really get to see a softer side to Kubu. I really enjoyed his character.
At the heart of this book is the idea of muti – a very special “potion” of sorts that will give power to those who use it. It’s made by witch doctors and while most witch doctors use animal parts in their muti, some of the very bad witch doctors actually use human parts. When you read the author’s note at the end of the book we are told that this actually does happen. Can you imagine that? I sure had trouble wrapping my head around the fact that this is something that actually happens in parts of the world – very scary!
I think that the character development in this book was really amazing. All the characters were fleshed out nicely. I enjoyed this book, a lot more than I had anticipated, actually. I felt as if it was a great story. I didn’t even know who the witch doctor was until it was revealed at the end – it wasn’t even anyone that I had on my radar! This is the fourth book in the Detective Kubu series, but it stands very well on its own. Personally I have never read a book set in Africa. Part of the reason I accepted this book for review was because of the setting alone. I knew it would be out of my comfort zone and I thoroughly enjoyed the setting.
Overall I’m glad that I was given the opportunity to read this book, and I definitely will be on the lookout for more Detective Kubu books! I would definitely recommend this book.
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**This review is posted in conjunction with the TLC Book Tours blog tour. I received a copy of this book to review in exchange for my honest opinion. I received no monetary compensation and the opinions expressed here are my own.
Tuesday, April 30th: The Year in Books
Wednesday, May 1st: Between the Covers
Thursday, May 2nd: Helen’s Book Blog
Monday, May 6th: 50 Books Project
Tuesday, May 7th: Traveling With T
Thursday, May 9th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Monday, May 13th: Joyfully Retired
Tuesday, May 14th: Wordsmithonia
Wednesday, May 15th: 5 Minutes For Books
Thursday, May 16th: My Bookish Ways
Monday, May 20th: Tales of a Book Addict