I would like to thank Anne Cater of #RandomThingsTours for my spot on this blog tour.
A dark and sophisticated thriller set in the heart of Botswana, introducing Michael Stanley’s beloved Detective Kubu
Recruited straight from university to Botswana’s CID, David ‘Kubu’ Bengu has raised his colleagues’ suspicions with his meteoric rise within the department, and he has a lot to prove.
When the richest diamond mine in the world is robbed of 100,000 carats worth of gems, and the thieves are found, executed, Kubu leaps at the chance to prove himself. First he must find the diamonds – and it seems that a witch doctor and his son have a part to play.
Does this young detective have the skill and integrity to engineer an international trap? Or could it cost him everything?
I was so looking forward to this book, after all it’s from publishers Orenda, and so far I haven’t been disappointed in any of the books that they print. I have other books in this series, but hadn’t actually got around to meeting David Bengu or Kubu as he is known. Now having finished this one I want to grab all of them and read them one after the other.
This book is a prequel to the other books in this series, going back to 1998, and David ‘Kubu’ Bengu’s first day as a Detective with the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department. For me this was the perfect introduction to Kubu, as it gives me the insights as to how he started out as a police officer.
I have really fallen for Kubu as a character, his name is really David Bengu but as he is a large person he was given the nickname Kubu which is Setswana for hippopotamus, I know that sounds horrible but he actually embraces the name, it was given to him five years earlier by a rich white boy at Maru a Pula school, the boy in question had taken one look at him and said he didn’t look like a David or even a Goliath, but a Kubu, a big friendly hippopotamus. He comes across as a very cheerful person, with a lot of enthusiasm for his role as a Detective. He hasn’t gone through the normal channels of starting as a constable, but has gone straight to detective coming directly from university, this has never happened before but the university had been so impressed with Kubu they had said he would be wasted as a beat officer. This doesn’t go down well with some of his colleagues, who have had to work hard to get to their positions, this causes some jealousy, and at times they just find him annoying, but because he is always polite and appreciative no one is cross with him for long. He gradually wins them over. He wants to be the best he can be, at times he lacks confidence which in a way makes him even more endearing, because he could have been arrogant in the fact he has jumped straight to Detective, but that’s not who he is.
Day one in his new role Kubu is thrown right in at the deep end. As a call comes about a plane disaster, which initially looks like an accident, but then 100,000 carats worth of diamonds are gone from the richest diamond mine in the world, due to be transported by that plane, because of the explosion, the second plan of action came into effect with armoured vehicles, one holding the diamonds two more as a diversion. But when the van with the diamonds is taken the investigation becomes quite complex. Especially when several people are murdered. Add into that some witchcraft. There are a lot of angles to look at. But this isn’t the only case Kubu is working on he is also assigned to another one, less serious but equally important to be solved. Baggage has gone missing seemingly mid flight, which poses quite a conundrum, if the luggage was checked onto the flight, why did it not arrive at its destination. Kubu looks at this logically and tries to work out how it could have happened, this shows off his deduction capabilities, which I am sure is why he was recommended to be a detective in the first place.
Kubu’s boss Assistant Superintendent Makabu comes across as quite tough at times, but is fair, he’s taking a risk putting Kubu on these cases on his first day, especially the diamond case, but it also gives him a chance to see how Kubu works. The missing diamonds is the main focus, as they investigate. Who knew that there was a back up plan?, who had access?, some of the officers won’t go near some of the objects collected in evidence, as they believe they have had some kind of spell put on them. Kubu isn’t superstitious so doesn’t have the same fears. When it appears that the people who committed the theft are all dead, the team have to dig deeper and look further.
I thoroughly enjoyed getting to meet Kubu, as well as some of the other characters in this book. I want to know if he sees Joy again, and if romance blossoms between them. I can’t wait now to read the rest of the series I have a feeling it’s going to be another one of my favourite go to series’s. It always amazes me how two writers can collaborate together and seem to write as one, how do they each know how they want the story to go? Do they discuss it beforehand? Or do they write a chapter each? Whatever these two do it works for me.
This is a perfect read for mystery lovers, crime lovers. Set in Botswana which adds some mystery to it for me, taking you to places you have never seen, imagining the heat as several times Kubu mentions how hot it is. It is perfectly plotted, I liked the short chapters as they flowed nicely the story was easy to follow despite some of the complexities of the crime. I was completely engrossed and read this in one sitting. I look forward to the next book in the series, by then I will have read the other six books.
A definite 5⭐️ read for me, absolutely loved this.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
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 specialised in image processing and
remote sensing and taught 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 David ‘Kubu’ Bengu of the Botswana
Criminal Investigation Department. It was a finalist for five
awards, including the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger. The series has been critically acclaimed, and their third book, Death of the Mantis, won the Barry Award for Best Paperback Original mystery and was shortlisted for an Edgar award. Deadly Harvest was shortlisted for an International Thriller Writers award. They have also written a thriller, Dead of Night, following the investigative journalist, Crystal Nguyen, who gets caught up in the war against rhino poaching and rhino-horn smuggling.