Smadret kranium, knækkede ribben og en sødlige stank af ådsel. Lad hyænerne æde kroppen – intet lig, ingen sag. Sådan går det dog ikke. Vildtfogederne fra Kalahari snubler over liget midt i hyænernes måltid. Mordet var alligevel ikke perfekt. David ”Kubu” Bengu fra Botswanas afdeling for kriminalefterforskning tilkaldes. En efterforsker, hvis personlighed og fysik står perfekt mål medhans øgenavn, det setswanske ord for flodhest - et umiddelbart omgængeligt dyr, men i virkeligheden et af kontinentets dødeligste og mest vedholdende af slagsen. Under et bjerg af løgne og mistanker finder Kubu frem til en kæde af forbrydelser, der fører til de mest magtfulde personer i landet – koldblodigt effektive og skræmmende indflydelsesrige fjender, der kan få enhver, der kommer i vejen for dem, til at forsvinde.
Michael Stanley is the writing partnership of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Michael lives in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Stanley in Minneapolis. We have travelled extensively in southern Africa and have a special love of Botswana, where our detective novels are set. Detective Kubu investigates complex murders in his native land, justifying his nickname by his size and tenacity (Kubu is Setswana for hippopotamus).
Kubu's faces powerful people and an escalating chain of murders in his first adventure - A Carrion Death.
Next a confluence of events leads to murders whose roots lie hidden in the past, in The Second Death of Goodluck Tinubu (A Deadly Trade outside north America).
The third Detective Kubu mystery, Death of the Mantis, has the plight of the Khoi-San (Bushmen) of the Kalahari as its backstory. Death of the Mantis was a finalist for an Edgar and won the Barry Award.
Deadly Harvest, the fourth Detective Kubu mystery, has as its backstory the use of human body parts for magic potions (called muti). Based on a true story, Detective Kubu and the first female detective in Botswana's CID, the young Samantha Khama, try to resurrect a number of cold cases in which young girls have gone missing. Deadly Harvest was a finalist for an International Thriller Writers award.
A Death in the Family (Kubu #5) has as its backstory the ramifications of corruption as the Chinese try to take over some of Botswana's rich mineral deposits. However the story starts with Kubu's elderly father being murdered. Despite his pleas, Kubu is kept off the case because of his personal involvement. However he keeps trying to solve it on his own.
In Dying to Live (Kubu #6) a Bushman is found dead, with internal organs far younger than his chronological age and a bullet embedded in his abdominal muscles with no entry wound. Dying to Live is a story of greed and the lengths people will go to attain immortality and make their fortunes.
Facets of Death is a prequel set in the late 1990s when Kubu first joins the Botswana CID as a raw detective. While he’s trying to build a role for himself in the CID, a massive diamond heist takes place on the road from Jwaneng — home of the world’s richest diamond mine. The robbers systematically eliminate all the witnesses, and then they are killed by the South African police, leaving the detectives with nothing to go on.
Kubu and Mabaku are sure they can solve the case if only their contacts can stay alive long enough. However, when one of the mine’s senior managers becomes the next victim, they are forced to set a trap for the crime’s mastermind. If it fails, their careers are over – in Kubu’s case before it’s even begun.
The latest mystery, A Deadly Covenant, takes place shortly after Kubu joins the Botswana Police Service and just after the diamond heist of Facets of Death.
While building a pipeline near the Okavango Delta, a contractor unearths the skeleton of a long-dead Bushman. Kubu and Scottish pathologist, Ian MacGregor, are sent to investigate, and MacGregor discovers eight more skeletons. Then an elder of the nearby village is murdered at his home. The local police believe it was a robbery, but Kubu thinks otherwise. So does a strange woman who claims it was an angry river spirit. The situation gets more confusing when the strange woman is found dead, apparently killed by a crocodile.
Assistant Superintendent Mabaku joins them as accusations of corruption are levelled and international outrage builds over the massacre of the Bushman families. But how do the recent murders link to the dead Bushmen, if at all? As Kubu and his colleagues investigate, they uncover a deadly covenant and begin to fear that their own lives may be in danger.
The young Kubu’s second big case mixes local mythology and tradition with smart police work to make for a satisfyingly immersive mystery that begs resolution until the last, unpredictable moment.