Deadly Harvest – Michael Stanley
A young girl goes missing after getting into a car with a mysterious man. Soon after, a second girl disappears, and her devastated father, Witness, sets out to seek revenge. As the trail goes cold, Samantha Khama – new recruit to the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department – suspects that the girl was killed for muti; traditional African medicine. She enlists opera-loving wine connoisseur Assistant Superintendent David ‘Kubu’ Benga to help her dig into the past. But as they begin to find a pattern, Kubu and Samantha suddenly find they are in a race against time…
My thanks to Karen at Orenda Books for my review copy and the chance to join the blog tour
The hunt is on for a Witch Doctor in Botswana. Not my normal type of read I had thought – but this is a cracking police procedural with a very distinctive setting and subject matter and I absolutely loved it.
A sinister Witch Doctor is promising power to men in Botswana who crave success in their chosen fields. The price of power is a high one which few can afford to pay. Even if you have the money then the Witch Doctor will require extra special materials to make his magic work.
The remains of a young human, a life once full of energy and drive who will be murdered to fuel the ambitions of the corrupt and unworthy. It was quite unsettling reading how innocent young girls are abducted in plain sight and taken away to a fate unknown.
Detective Kubu is implored by his new colleague, Samantha Khama, to dig into the disappearance of several young girls but Kubu is focussed on the murder of a prominent politician. His bosses have stressed that Kubu must find the politician’s murderer as a matter of utmost priority. However, as the story unfolds it becomes clear that the politician’s murder may also tie in with the disappearance of one of the girls Samantha has been looking into.
Kubu and Samantha methodically work the cases and I loved seeing how their investigation progressed. Where leads start to run cold it was fascinating to see how Kubu utilised local beliefs and customs to shake information out of reluctant witnesses. Samantha, being younger and (in her eyes) much more practical, shunned Kubu’s superstitious methods – until it seems that they are starting to work.
How can the police overcome the deep-rooted fear of the evil power of the Witch Doctor, a man that can apparently make himself invisible if the need should arise, to get to the bottom of a series of murders? The challenge that faces Kubu is great, particularly when his own department is in a state of turmoil as a battle for power is subtly playing out.
I thought Deadly Harvest was magnificent, I just wanted to keep reading – I had to know how the story was going to play out. I know nothing of Botswana yet the authors made the country seem so real and vibrant. I look forward to meeting with Detective Kubu again in the future – a high bar has been set.
Deadly Harvest is published by Orenda Books and can be ordered in paperback or digital formats here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Deadly-Harvest-Detective-Michael-Stanley/dp/1910633445/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1464646053&sr=1-1&keywords=deadly+harvest