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A Carrion Death: Introducing Detective Kubu | [Michael Stanley]

A Carrion Death: Introducing Detective Kubu

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2008 Michael Sears and Stanley Raynes Trollip; (P)2008 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"Intricate plotting, a grisly sense of realism, and numerous topical motifs...make this a compulsively readable novel." (Publishers Weekly)
"A first novel saturated with local color....[Audiences] may be lured to Africa by the landscape, but it takes a great character like Kubu to win our loyalty." (The New York Times Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (202 )
5 star
 (62)
4 star
 (79)
3 star
 (43)
2 star
 (10)
1 star
 (8)
Overall
4.1 (69 )
5 star
 (34)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.3 (70 )
5 star
 (41)
4 star
 (13)
3 star
 (12)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
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  •  
    Karen Everett, WA, United States 12-15-08
    Karen Everett, WA, United States 12-15-08 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    103
    ratings
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    3
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    Overall
    "Entertaining listen, but disappointing finish"

    I essentially enjoyed this book.... The story was interesting, fun and engrossing. The characters were distinctive and entertaining (though the descriptions of Kubu's food obsessions grew a bit weary). But the storyline eventually out-complexed itself, leaving a muddled mass of dead bodies, confusing motives and a notable lack of clear resolution. There were ultimately so many amorphous twists and turns in the plot that it became very challenging to keep track of what was going on at any given moment, only to have it NOT really be very cleared up in the end. Enjoyable, but ultimately disappointing. It was more or less a worthy listen, but I'm looking to see this author improve his game a bit in the future... As a final note, the narrator did a great job cleanly conveying both the characters and the story in his pleasant british/S. African accent. It made the lack of solid resolution more tolerable...

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna Port Richey, FL, United States 02-11-15
    Donna Port Richey, FL, United States 02-11-15 Member Since 2014

    music nut, history buff

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    39
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    3
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    Story
    "A good detective"

    I liked Det. Kubu and the story was consistently exciting. I will be sure to read the rest of this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zorkuban 03-11-12
    Zorkuban 03-11-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    67
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A very wonderfull read."
    What did you love best about A Carrion Death?

    This was a great intricate detective story in an exotic setting. I believe that I learned much about the atmosphere in that Southern African part of the continent. Learning about a locale that I previously had very little knowledge about is one of the criteria that I use in choosing a book. The characterizations were extremely well-done. I really wish that I knew a character such as Kubu and his family in real life. We would get along very well.

    Often, a novel will come to a conclusion very abruptly, as though there was a publisher's timetable that had to be met. Everything is summed up in a paragraph or two. Here, there was no indication of that. The story was very nicely concluded and did not lead to a


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Obviously, it was the 1st character Kubu (Hippopotamus) the detective, and also his wife. They were people that I would really like to know and call friends in real life. I even liked their dog.


    Have you listened to any of Simon Prebble???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This is my first experience with Simon Prebble and I thought he did an exceptional job in distinguishing between the various characters and their accents. He did a very good job with his interpretations.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Unfortunately, I really do not have time to listen to any book in one sitting. But, in this case, I found that I put off a number of pressing things in order to finish the book. I have no regrets in that regard, as it was very well-rewarded.


    Any additional comments?

    This would make for a great movie. But, I am not sure that there is anyone in Hollywood that would be up to it, without destroying it.

    The other authors that I have liked for much for the same reasons as for this novel are:
    Amitov Ghosh, Bryce Courtenay, and Patrick O'Brian. The books that I have read by them are not

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Weiss 11-19-09
    Karen Weiss 11-19-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    "Wow"

    I thought this was a great book. It was so well written and the narration was also terrific. I will be getting the rest of his books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike & Jan Geihsler 11-14-09 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
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    "Ok, but not No 1 Ladies Detective Agency"

    Book okay but too long. Good story line but language & sex unnecessary. Entertaining at times. Able to figure out ending too early. NOT as good as No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phil M 10-23-09
    Phil M 10-23-09

    english mystery fan

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    78
    4
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    Overall
    "Disappointed"

    I've been purchasing audio books for many years and I have to say this was the most disappointing mystery/procedural I've ever heard. The book got good reviews but there are major flaws. There is no suspense or mystery to the book - it unfolds, slowly answers are obtained, and then it goes on and on before petering out at the end. I've always stuck with audiobooks giving them a chance to entertain but this one got worse and it progressed until I couldn't wait for it to end. Very disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. Chavez Huntington Beach, CA USA 10-16-09
    P. Chavez Huntington Beach, CA USA 10-16-09 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    113
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    37
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    Overall
    "Too long"

    Actually a 2 1/2 star. This book has great potential, but just drags on too long. It has wonderful characters and an interesting location but the actual story became boring.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Snoodely 10-07-09
    Snoodely 10-07-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1048
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    "#2 "traditionally-built" detective"

    Listening to "A Carrion Death," I couldn't help thinking about Alexander McCall Smith's "Number One Ladies Detective Agency" series, only because both stories are set in Botswana, by authors who know the country and the people well. Of course, little else links the two stories, since "A Carrion Death" deals with an entirely more serious mystery than any of Precious Ramotswe's cases. But, having never before known a thing about Botswana, I appreciated having read Smith's books first. Both authors clearly love the country and her people. Michael Sears and Stanley Raynes Trollip have devised an intriguing, complex mystery story, and written it well. It keeps one riveted to the end. I highly recommend "A Carrion Death" to all mystery lovers. I had never heard of this audiobook before I purchased it from Audible.com; but when I saw that it is read by the wonderful Simon Prebble I couldn't resist it. Simon Prebble has a beautiful, smooth, versatile voice that can assume any timbre and accent to delineate any number of characters. All by himself he creates a whole cast of actors -- good guys, bad guys, males, and females -- along with all their emotional and motivational subtleties. Listen to this book. While it may not have the perfect resolution, it none-the-less repays your time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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