18 August 2016

Review: A DEATH IN THE FAMILY, Michael Stanley

Synopsis (Amazon)

 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 ofriots, 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?

  My Take

I am a long-standing fan of this series. Published in 2015, this is #5.

His father Wilmon is a much loved member of Kubu's family and a kindly character who has featured in earlier titles. His murder comes as a great shock and it is hard to imagine why it has happened. Are the families of the police being targeted or is there a more local motive?

Kubu of course wants to be involved in the investigation and his boss has a hard job of keeping him out of it. Fortunately there are other matters that Kubu can be involved in. But his frustration at the assignment of his father's murder to a less experienced female detective is well depicted, especially as time passes and so little progress is made.

I enjoyed the way the various threads of this story were woven together with elements of Botswana politics and economics, particularly with Botswana struggling to find its place in the modern world.

The view presented of Botswana is different to the one with Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Series which I also enjoy.  I was delighted to find references to that series in A DEATH IN THE FAMILY.

A delightful read.

  my rating: 4.7


Margot Kinberg said...

This is a good series, isn't it, Kerrie

Terra Hangen said...

From your review and the setting of Botswana, I think I would like this series.


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