Author: Michael Stanley
Publisher: Harper Paperback, April 30, 2013
Genre: Detective Fiction/Police Procedural
My Rating: A
In September 2011 I told you about Death of the Mantis by Michael Stanley. (Click the title for my review.) I loved it and especially Kubu, the main character. And now, the authors have created a fourth book in the series, Deadly Harvest. It’s even better than the previous books.
Throughout this series I have been transported directly into Botswana. I’ve been given a good look at the culture, scenery, and now the politics of this country in southern Africa. It has completely erased my ideas of Africa as a dense jungle.
In Deadly Harvest, Kubu, the Assistant Superintendent in the detective division, is asked to investigate a death threat against a politician. Shortly after that the man is murdered. In addition to solving the murder, Kubu is asked to mentor Samantha, the first woman detective on the police force.
Samantha is working on a case involving missing girls. Soon it becomes apparent that Kubu’s case and Samantha’s case are intertwined. Although the story is clearly set in twenty-first century Botswana, there is still an element at work that involves old traditional witch doctors. It’s actually rather frightening when it is revealed that many of the secret potions are made from human body parts.
The story itself is an excellent police procedural. It’s even more interesting as it takes us through the maze of Botswanian life. But, what really makes the book an outstanding one for me is the character of Kubu. In my last review of Death of a Mantis here’s what I said about Kubu:
“Kubu is a large man in stature, in heart and in wisdom. He’s loyal to his friends and colleagues, and deeply in love with his wife and new baby.”
That hasn’t changed, although the baby is now three-years-old. The authors do such a good job of developing Kubu and are now doing the same with Samantha. I like the addition of Samantha. She’s a young woman to be admired. She has been very persistent in her goal of becoming a detective. It’s nowhere close to easy in this male-dominated world where she works and lives. She has a passion for working on crimes against women and is very determined. I’m looking forward to reading more about Samantha’s work in the future.
If you are new to this series, I strongly recommend you give the books a try. It’s not necessary to start at the beginning. Each book stands alone. Deadly Harvest is a compelling story all by itself.
As I mentioned in my review of Death of the Mantis, Michael Stanley is a team effort. The Michael part of the team is Michael Sears and the Stanley part is Stanley Trollip. I don’t know how they do it but, in my opinion, it definitely works. You can find their blog here: Michael Stanley. The blog has a great interview with Kubu. Good fun.