A Death in the Family by Michael Stanley – Blog Tour Review

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About the Book

‘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?

My Review

I had only read one other book in the Detective Kubu series, Deadly Harvest and loved getting to know Kubu, his family and colleagues and enjoyed reading a book set somewhere different, Botswana. Both books could easily be read as stand-alone novels.
Kubu is shocked and heartbroken when he receives a telephone call telling him his father has been murdered. Being family he is forbidden to have any involvement in the case and despite his best efforts none of his friends in the police will tell him anything. He understands the logic behind this but finds it very difficult to accept.
To keep him at a distance he is told to investigate a series of deaths that occurred in a local town after a meeting to decide whether a development into a mine should be allowed to go ahead providing much needed employment. Information comes to light that suggest the cases are linked.
One of the reasons I enjoy this series is the way everything is described. The funeral was one of the most fascinating parts in the book. I felt like I was one of the many mourners, hearing and seeing the mourning and celebrating a life. I could just picture the amount of refreshments needed for a few thousand people. I also liked Kubu’s first experience of cold weather when he is sent to New York, and how different it was to Botswana.
The difference of opinion between the generations also felt believable. How the older, somewhat superstitious view from the elders was winning over the younger generation who were trying to survive without employment and an uncertain future.
A totally different type of crime novel compared to my usual choice of British, American or Nordic but it’s great. Still violent death, still modern day policing but in a different setting where beauty, poverty, culture, superstition and fear all make it seem slightly different.
With thanks to Karen Sullivan for the copy received.

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