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
"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)
Maybe it's because I've never read anything else by this author that I was so unhappy with this. I chose the book by the description, listened to a sample and read reviews. I was expecting an interesting mystery set in Africa with a lot of local flavor. I was intrigued with the idea of a new detective. The begininng was fine and I was getting into the storyline when the whole thing morphed into a bad romantic novel. The sex scenes (which didn't need to be there at all) were really badly written. It was as if the author lost the thread of the African mystery and decided to throw a little sex in to pick things up. The only thing I actually did like about this book was the narration. That, however, was not enough to save it. This is the first Audible seclection I have chosen not to finish in several years of membership.
The story moved along, was believable and the local color was nice.
It's also good to see that race relations in Southern Africa are so improved at least as far as the police are concerned.
The use of Shakespeare phrases was a nice touch.
The description of orgasms could have been left out since it added nothing to the story.
Maybe the obligatory sex was added to remind us this is a "modern" book.
Kubu is a richly enjoyable character, surrounded by a fine ensemble. The writing is quite funny. Even the dog is funny. This might really be only a 4-star -- there are far too many characters, perhaps because way too much time is spent on bit players; some of the schtick gets repetitious, such as the drinking; the mystery gets game-y in that the reader isn't privy to many of the facts that Kubu discovers; and the POV bounces all over the place. But, with the fresh story, fascinating locale, and likable characters, I've gone for a 5.
AUDIO: The reader is adequate but has a limited vocal range, so it's often difficult to figure out who's speaking.
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...
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.
I was initially drawn to this book because of the setting in Botswana. I found the start to a wonderful detective series. I can't wait to hear more about detective David "Kubu" Bengu.
I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys The Number One Ladies' Detective Agency. It's also a good mystery in its own right.
Very different and a real peak into another world. The ending was too fast and the well delineated characters had issues that remained unsolved. Good listen, a complex group of characters that you'll like
Botswana calls again! Detective Kubu outshines even Mma Ramotswe of the #1 Ladies Detective Agency. The story is captivating and very well told and description of the country makes visiting a must.
A thoroughly good read. It's hard to believe that this is a first novel; the writing and plot were stylish. I'm hoping that it isn't too long until a second book is in print.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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