A Carrion Death

A Carrion Death

Introducing Detective Kubu

Book - 2008
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Smashed skull, snapped ribs, and a cloying smell of carrion. Leave the body for the hyenas to devour--no body, no case.

But when Kalahari game rangers stumble on a human corpse midmeal, it turns out the murder wasn't perfect after all. Enough evidence is left to suggest foul play. Detective David "Kubu" Bengu of the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department is assigned to the case.

The detective's personality and physique match his moniker. The nickname "Kubu" is Setswana for "hippopotamus"--a seemingly docile creature, but one of the deadliest on the continent. Beneath Kubu's pleasant surface lies the same unwavering resolve that makes the hippopotamus so deceptively dangerous. Both will trample everything in their path to reach an objective.

From the sun-baked riverbeds of the Kalahari to the highest offices of an international conglomerate, Kubu follows a blood-soaked trail in search of answers.

Beneath a mountain of lies and superstitions, he uncovers a chain of crimes leading to the most powerful figures in the country--influential enemies who will kill anyone in their way.

A memorable detective makes his debut in this gritty, mesmerizing thriller. Set amid the beauty and darkness of contemporary Africa, A Carrion Death is the first entry in an evocative new series cutting to the heart of today's Botswana--a modern democracy threatened by unstable neighbors, poachers, and diamond smugglers. Those trying to expose the corrupt ringleaders will find themselves fighting for their lives. . . .

Publisher: New York : HarperCollins, c2008.
ISBN: 9780061252402
Characteristics: x, 467 p. :,map ;,24 cm.
Additional Contributors: Trollip, Stanley Raynes


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Sep 06, 2019

I really wanted to like this book as it offered a different view of Botswana, the country Alexander McCall Smith writes about. Here is where the similarities end. Unlike Mr Smith - who manages to tell a great story with very few characters - these authors kept introducing new characters and their machinations into the story and by the time I got less than halfway thru I was confused and tired. Not enough time was spent on the person who supposedly the main character - the police investigator - and too much spent on all these other characters and their business. Good premise, poor execution.

Jul 27, 2016

A refreshing alternative to Alexander McCall Smith's "detective" series set in Botswana.

Feb 20, 2014

I give this book only a 1-star rating. Its a murder mystery / food review book that ends without loose ends tied up clearly. The authors seemed to have tired of writing by the end. And, yes, it has a weirdly placed sex scene towards the beginning (very graphic) that doesn't meld into the story line very well. The protagonist, a very fat detective, is constantly eating and drinking alcohol. The authors make sure you know every detail about the beverages he drinks and how his food is prepared. Throw in a murder every 10-12 pages and scenery of southern Africa and you have the mix. Bo-o-o-o-oring.

Jan 10, 2012

This is book #1 in a mystery series featuring Assistant Superintendent David (Kubu) Bengu of the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department; the book was originally published in the US, where one of its two South African authors spends much time, and not (as one might expect) in South Africa or even in the UK; the book has a wealth of Botswanan atmosphere but there is also a quite unnecessary American slant to the writing that is clearly aimed at making American readers feel comfortable, such as casual mention of “napkins” (a term largely restricted to the US though becoming very common here as we become Americanized) and the casual and unexplained mention of a Minnesota university and other things American, as well as talk about Fahrenheit temperatures and distances in feet and miles; I mean, this book is set in a former British territory in Africa and not in New York; on that score the novel deserves a score of 4 but the story itself is worth a seven and so it gets a better overall rating than all those many Americanisms would otherwise earn it.

Aug 21, 2011

OK, but no more than that; simple writing, but without charm. Weird sex scene early on, I'm not sure why.

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