• Publication date: 15 Jun 2018
• Publisher: ORENDA BOOKS
• Language: English
• ASIN: B079YXP8R2
Really seriously thrilled to be on the blog tour for such an exciting book. Thank you to the Orenda Publishing team via Anne Cater for my ARC copy
When freelance journalist, Crystal Nguyen, heads to South Africa, she thinks she’ll be researching an article on rhino-horn smuggling for National Geographic, while searching for her missing colleague. But within a week, she’s been hunting poachers, hunted by their bosses, and then arrested in connection with a murder. And everyone is after a briefcase full of money that may hold the key to everything…
Fleeing South Africa, she goes undercover in Vietnam, trying to discover the truth before she’s exposed by the local mafia. Discovering the plot behind the money is only half the battle. Now she must convince the South African authorities to take action before it’s too late. She has a shocking story to tell, if she survives long enough to tell it…
Fast-paced, relevant and chilling, Dead of Night is a stunning new thriller that exposes one of the most vicious conflicts on the African continent…
Africa as a whole has long held a fascination for me, although I’ve never actually been there.
I’ve read books that have described a part of it or one country within the African continent, both novel and memoirs and any images of it or its people are always so very vivid in colour. This book conjures up in my mind a backdrop of an extremely beautiful searing hot place teeming with wildlife. However it’s opened my eyes even more now to the danger faced by those involved with trying to save the rhino from extinction and it prompted me to look things up and read much more about the issue.
This intense and fast moving novel focuses on one of the tragic sides of Africa – the poaching of rhino horn as used in powdered down form in traditional Chinese Medicine to buyers in Vietnam or China who erroneously believe that Rhino horn has all manner of properties and effects when in fact it has absolutely no medicinal value at all. See Here for more information via http://www.savetherhino.org
After her journalist colleague and friend disappears in Africa while researching rhino poaching for an article for National Geographic Crystal Nguyen sets out on a mission to find him or at least discover what’s happened to him. Her quest takes her to a part of South Africa where rhino hunting is particularly rife and while staying on a safari park and going out on patrols with people who try to stop rhino hunting Crystal discovers how dangerous it is all round. Of course for the beleaguered rhino species and also for the poachers and those who hunt down poachers because poachers are shot on sight and they don’t hesitate to kill those who try to stop them.
Stopping poaching was like digging a hole in a swamp. No matter how hard you bailed, you just couldn’t stop the water seeping back and filling the hole again. It was depressing to realise that rhinos still died, despite all the efforts of the anti-poaching teams, the conservationists, the police, and dedicated organizations like CITES.
As the story unfolds within this book my heart was in my mouth as very frightening scenarios were played out between the pages. Crystal becomes involved over her head with extremely dangerous and ruthless people. Chapter after chapter the journalist just about escapes with her life during various adventures – to put it very lightly – as she gets nearer to the truth and has no idea who she can trust. At times I went in search of a brown paper bag to stop me hyperventilating because the book is that kind of book!
At times Crystal really annoyed me and I felt like giving her a good talking to to try to persuade her to cease putting herself into extremely dangerous situations but then again most of the time danger found her and she was dedicated and driven enough to try to find out the truth and prevent further events from taking place.
Reading this book made me feel like asking ‘Michael Stanley, where have you been all my life?’ because this is the first book by this author that I’ve read and really want to read others by him. I understand that more books and other series by this author (actually a pair of authors – see below) have been published, all set in South Africa. I really should have been told 😬
Intense. Tragic. Vivid.
About The Author
Follow Michael Stanley at https://www.facebook.com/MichaelStanleyBooks/
Michael Stanley is the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Both natives of Africa, we have travelled regularly together to Botswana and Zimbabwe over the past twenty years to experience the country with its wide diversity and interesting peoples. Our books reflect the authentic Africa of the 21st century: not merely the politically unstable, desperately poor Africa of the nightly news, but also the emotional conflicts of people with one foot in traditional culture and the other in Western-instigated globalism. The new Africa is not the safari jungle, but a collection of diverse groups and nations struggling to find their way in a rapidly changing context.
It was at the lion research centre in the Savuti, an ancient dried-up lake in Botswana’s Chobe National Park, that we realized how to conceal a perfect murder. We watched hyenas team up to drive lions off their fresh kills, then devour everything in sight, bones and all. By the next morning, no evidence remained of the carcass. Botswana offered the ideal setting for such a literary revelation. This was the kernel of the idea that led to our first book, A CARRION DEATH.
Our detective is Assistant Superintendent David Bengu of the Botswana criminal Investigation Department. His nickname is Kubu because of his size – “kubu” being the Setswana word for hippopotamus. Hippos in the wild spend most of the day in pools or rivers, with all but their eyes and ears under water; they look deceptively docile, belying the fact that they kill more people in Africa than any other mammal, trampling whatever lies between them and their objective. So with Kubu. On the surface he appears harmless; a convivial man with a sly sense of humour who loves his wife, and is passionate about wine and music. But Kubu is a capable, wily policeman determined to rid Botswana of crime, no matter what gets in his way.
In A CARRION DEATH, Kubu is faced with a vicious plot involving blood diamonds, greed, and corruption, with a touch of the supernatural. The book is set in the arid south of Botswana and in the capital city, Gaborone.
A CARRION DEATH was shortlisted for best debut mystery novel for the BARRY, MACAVITY and STRAND MAGAZINE CRITICS’ awards. It was also shortlisted for the Crime Writers Association DEBUT DAGGER award, and for the Minnesota Book Awards Genre Fiction.
In A DEADLY TRADE, Kubu investigates the murder of two supposed tourists at a camp in the lush north of the country along the beautiful Linyanti river. Across the river lie Namibia and Zimbabwe. Kubu has to delve into the past and the Rhodesian Bush War to unravel the mystery of the modern day killings.
DEATH OF THE MANTIS is set in the Kalahari and the back story is the plight of the Bushman (or San) peoples of the area. When a game ranger is found dead in a dry ravine, his corpse surrounded by three Bushmen, the local police arrest the nomads. Kubu investigates the case and is reunited with his old school friend Khumanego, a Bushman and advocate for his people. Khumanego claims the nomads are innocent and the arrests motivated by racist antagonism. The Bushmen are released, but soon after, another man is murdered in similar circumstances. Are the Bushmen to blame, or is it a copycat murder? Then there is a third murder. Again it points to the Bushmen. Kubu journeys into the depths of the Kalahari to find the truth. All his powers of detection are tested as well as his ability to stay alive…
DEATH OF THE MANTIS was shortlisted for the ANTHONY and EDGAR awards for best paperback original mystery of 2011, as well as for Minnesota Book Awards Genre Fiction. The book won the BARRY Award for best paperback original mystery.
DEADLY HARVEST – the fourth Detective Kubu mystery – revolves around the pervasive belief in black magic in southern Africa and the potions of witch doctors who still produce great fear in many of the local people. It was shortlisted for the International Thriller Writers award.
A DEATH IN THE FAMILY is the latest in the series. The backstory is the growing role of the Chinese in Africa and the pound of flesh they want for their aid and support. For Kubu it’s very personal because his father is the death in the family – he is murdered apparently for no reason. Kubu battles with his grief at the same time as violence and corruption at the highest level.
We enjoy both a local and trans global collaboration, mainly via e-mail and Skype. Michael lives in Johannesburg, South Africa; Stanley spends half the year in coastal South Africa and half in Minnesota.
For more about us, our books and Botswana, see http://www.detectivekubu.com
See what I mean! Look at that back catalogue above ⬆️ I really should have been told!
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