A Carrion Death: Introducing Detective Kubu (Hardcover)

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Assistant Superintendent David “Kubu” Bengu of the Botswana police is a big likeable fellow, devoted to his wife, thankful for the chances in life that led him to college and a passion for opera.   Detectives in Botswana have a few challenges our cops do not face, such as having the body of the victim dined on by the local animals leaving nothing but some bones behind.  This is the situation when Kubu is sent to Dale’s Camp out in the back of beyond where ranger Andries Botha and Dr. Sibisi Bongi discovered what was left of someone, probably a murder victim and possibly a white man adding more complications.  Kubu will have other issues to contend with as the story takes us to the hand over of power in one of the country’s more powerful companies involved in diamond mining.  If you read the Number One Ladies Detective series by Alexander McCall Smith, I suspect you will find much to enjoy in this series featuring Kubu.  

— Deon Stonehouse


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. . . .

About the Author

Michael Stanley is the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Sears was born in Johannesburg, grew up in Cape Town and Nairobi, and teaches at the University of the Witwatersrand. Trollip was also born in Johannesburg and has been on the faculty of the universities of Illinois, Minnesota, and North Dakota, and at Capella University. He divides his time between Knysna, South Africa, and Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Praise For…

“A first novel saturated with local color. . . . Readers may be lured to Africa by the landscape, but it takes a great character like Kubu to win our loyalty.”
— New York Times Book Review

“More smart than bloody. . . . A marvelous debut.”
— Boston Globe

“Delightful. . . . Plot twists are fair and well-paced, the Botswana setting has room to breathe and take shape as its own entity, and Stanley’s writing style is equal parts sprightly and grave.”
— Los Angeles Times Book Review

“[An] impressive debut. . . . The intricate plotting, a grisly sense of realism and numerous topical motifs . . . make this a compulsively readable novel. . . . This fast-paced forensic thriller will resonate . . . with fans of Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Product Details
ISBN: 9780061252402
Publisher: Harper
Publication Date: April 1st, 2008
Pages: 480
Language: English