‘There’s no easy way to say this, Kubu. Your father’s dead. I’m afraid he’s been murdered.’
“Faced with the violent death of his own father, even Assistant Superintendent David ‘Kubu’ Bengu, Botswana CID’s keenest mind, is baffled. Who would kill such a frail old man? The picture becomes even murkier with the apparent suicide of a government official. Are Chinese mine-owners involved? And what role does the US Embassy have to play?
Set amidst the dark beauty of modern Botswana, A Death in the Family is a thrilling insight into a world of riots, corruption and greed, as a complex series of murders presents the opera-loving, wine connoisseur detective with his most challenging case yet. When grief-stricken Kubu defies orders and sets out on the killers’ trail, startling and chilling links emerge, spanning the globe and setting a sequence of shocking events in motion. Will Kubu catch the killers in time … and find justice for his father?”
I am thrilled to welcome you to my stop on the A Death in the Family blog tour. A Death in the Family is book 5 in the Detective Kubu series written by brilliant writing team, Michael Stanley (Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip).
It’s so good to have Kubu back! At the start of August I had my first introduction to the very likeable Assistant Superintendent David ‘Kubu’ Bengu when I reviewed the wonderful Deadly Harvest. If you missed that review, you can check it out by clicking here. I was so looking forward to catching up with the man affectionately named ‘hippo’ once again and I was not disappointed! It was a joy to read this book so soon after Deadly Harvest as the characters and the stunning setting of Botswana, were still fresh in my mind.
Assistant Superintendent Bengu receives a call in the middle of the night telling him that his father is dead. A parent passing is bad enough but Kubu’s world crumbles when he discovers his father has been murdered. He’s keen to start working on the case but Director Mabaku puts a halt on any involvement immediately. Instead Kubu is tasked with investigating the apparent suicide of a government official. Elsewhere the people of Shoshong are on the brink of catastrophe. Having been offered jobs, the young men are keen to encourage the expansion of the local Chinese-run mine, but the Chief and Elders are more concerned about upholding tradition. Anger starts to build and is set to erupt with explosive consequences. Chock full of suspense, intrigue and corruption; will Kubu manage to find the cause of the official’s death, and more importantly, can he discover who killed his elderly father…?
I was surprisingly saddened by Kubu’s father’s death, having only met him once before in Deadly Harvest. He seemed like such a kind gentle man that I found his murder quite unsettling (I’d read the back of the book and was fully expecting it – maybe I’m just a softie!). I fell a little more in love with Kubu this time around, despite him being a relatively normal kind of guy and not my usual dark and dangerous detective. You find out a lot more about him and what makes him tick in this book. My feelings towards Samantha Khama haven’t changed one iota, I still dislike the woman! She really doesn’t do herself any favours in my eyes. So I was rather pleased that Kubu was a touch colder towards her.
The plot was clever, intricate and interesting throughout. My husband studied geology at university so we had a lovely chat about mining for minerals and rare earth elements (he chatted, I listened…I’m still none the wiser!).
I’m still amazed that two people can write so well together yet make it sound like one voice. Just goes to show what fantastic writer’s Mr Sears and Mr Trollip are!
Would I recommend this book? I most certainly would. I think it works well as a standalone. I, however, enjoyed it more because the characters and the landscapes were familiar to me. A cleverly written police procedural which is full of mystery and suspense featuring some wonderful characters – what’s not to love?
Four out of five stars.
Many thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for providing me with a copy of A Death in the Family in exchange for an honest review.
A Death in the Family by Michael Stanley was published in the UK by Orenda Books on 15th July 2016 and is available in paperback and eBook formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads | Orenda Books |
Michael Stanley is the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Both were born in South Africa and have worked in academia and business. Stanley was an educational psychologist, specialising in the application of computers to teaching and learning, and is a pilot. Michael specialises in image processing and remote sensing, and teaches at the University of the Witwatersrand. On a flying trip to Botswana, they watched a pack of hyenas hunt, kill, and devour a wildebeest, eating both flesh and bones. That gave them the premise for their first mystery, A Carrion Death, which introduced Detective ‘Kubu’ Bengu of the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department. It was a finalist for five awards, including the CWA Debut Dagger. The series has been critically acclaimed, and their third book, Death of the Mantis, won the Barry Award and was a finalist for an Edgar award. Deadly Harvest was a finalist for an International Thriller Writers’ award. The next in the Detective Kubu series is A Death in the Family, also published by Orenda Books. Connect with Michael Stanley via Twitter @detectivekubu.