About the Book
When the body of a Bushman is discovered near the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the death is written off as an accident. But all is not as it seems. An autopsy reveals that, although he’s clearly very old, his internal organs are puzzlingly young. What’s more, an old bullet is lodged in one of his muscles… but where is the entry wound? When the body is stolen from the morgue and a local witch doctor is reported missing, Detective ‘Kubu’ Bengu gets involved. But did the witch doctor take the body to use as part of a ritual? Or was it the American anthropologist who’d befriended the old Bushman? As Kubu and his brilliant young colleague, Detective Samantha Khama, follow the twisting trail through a confusion of rhino-horn smugglers, foreign gangsters and drugs manufacturers, the wider and more dangerous the case seems to grow. A fresh, new slice of ‘Sunshine Noir’, Dying to Live is a classic tale of greed, corruption and ruthless thuggery, set in one of the world’s most beautiful landscapes, and featuring one of crime fiction’s most endearing and humane heroes.
Dying to Live is the third book that I have read in the marvelous series that features Detective Kubu, Samantha and the rest of the team. Just like the previous novels the cases they have to solve are different to the ones that feature in a book that is set elsewhere.
One of the many reasons I enjoy this series so much is that all the characters are so laid back. Even though there are murders to solve, Kubu still has time to spend time with his family and enjoy his cookies. Samantha is a little different, she is a bit more impatient, more passionate and more eager to prove that she is an able detective.
Both cases are sinister, there is a missing witch doctor and whilst both Kubu and Samantha are critical of the old ways, the case still has to be solved. The other case concerns the body of an old man, who when the autopsy is done shows more questions than answers.
As well as trying to deal with both cases, lazy police officers and plenty of suspects Kubu also has to deal with the deteriorating health of his adopted daughter Nono who is HIV positive. The grief, frustration and guilt felt by Kubu and Joy was raw. I really felt for Kubu with the decisions he was forced to make for the sake of his marriage. I feel that one of the many strong points in this series is how well you get to know Kubu’s family. It is probably the only series that I have read where family features so prominently.
Whilst the storyline features murder, the reasons why it occurred are different and with the added superstition made a fascinating read. I did get a little confused at times, there are a lot of people but there was a reminder at the start of who everybody was along with a guide on pronunciation.
A welcome return to the land of ‘sunshine noir’. Kubu and Samantha are one of my favourite police teams.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.