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“If I was forced to – I would put my money on Ramaphosa.” Ray Hartley on the future of South Africa’s presidency at the launch of Ramaphosa: The Man Who Would be King

All images by Guy Martin

Ray Hartley and Mondli Makhanya

 

It was quite a gathering for Ray Hartley’s launch of his book Ramaphosa: The Man Who Would be King. He was in discussion with fellow editor and seasoned journalist Mondli Makhanya at Exclusive Books in Rosebank.

Attendees congregated around the author

 

The audience got to know a bit of how Ramaphosa got to where he is. But as Hartley said: “The book is not about the psychological look at Cyril Ramaphosa.”

There was quite a bit to unpack – from Ramaphosa’s early days with the Student Christian Movement to becoming a force behind the mining unions, and eventually emerging as the Deputy President in South Africa. Hartley also spoke about how integral Ramaphosa was in the Codesa negotiations and why he was quiet all these years as Deputy.

At the end of the discussion it was clear that the audience was interested in the now – would he become President and would he be able to get South Africa on the right track? Hartley’s answer was measured. “If I was forced to – I would put my money on Ramaphosa. The numbers seem to be on his side, but it’s such a close race.”

The night in pictures:

The author, the book, the mandatory glass of water.

 

Hartley in conversation with Bradley Lutz, sales manager at Jonathan Ball Publishers

 

A pensive Hartley

 

Captivated!

Book details

Launch – Ramaphosa: The man who would be king by Ray Hartley (23 November)

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is credited with driving through the deal between the apartheid government and the African National Congress that was at the heart of South Africa’s democratic constitution. He was the ANC’s lead negotiator and the man who persuaded one of the most recalcitrant racist governments in the world to buy into a settlement based on one of its most enlightened bills of rights.

But once the ink had dried on the constitution, Ramaphosa found himself politically sidelined. Before the negotiations he had been the head of the country’s largest mineworkers union. Afterwards, he went into business after concluding a landmark black empowerment deal.

A talented negotiator capable of driving a hard bargain between implacable enemies, Ramaphosa has always been ‘the man in the middle’.

Now, as Jacob Zuma’s presidency enters its final stretch, Ramaphosa has re-entered politics and is one of a handful of candidates to take over as ANC president and as president of South Africa. Should he succeed, he will take over a country that has been battered by years of corruption and misrule which flourished under Zuma.

The question that everyone is asking is: can the man in the middle lead from the front? Ray Hartley, author and seasoned journalist, attempts to answer that question by looking at how Ramaphosa has handled the key challenges he has faced in the unions, in business and in politics.

Ray Hartley worked as an administrator at the CODESA negotiations, which ended apartheid. He has covered the unfolding drama of the new South Africa as a political correspondent, travelling extensively with Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki. Hartley was the founding editor of The Times and editor of South Africa’s largest newspaper, The Sunday Times, from 2010 to 2013. He is author of Ragged Glory: The Rainbow Nation in Black and White and editor of the essay collection How To Fix South Africa.

Event Details

CT launch: Enemy of the People by Adriaan Basson & Pieter du Toit (23 November)

Enemy of the People is the first definitive account of Zuma’s catastrophic misrule, offering eyewitness descriptions and cogent analysis of how South Africa was brought to its knees – and how a people fought back.

When Jacob Zuma took over the leadership of the ANC one muggy Polokwane evening in December 2007, he inherited a country where GDP was growing by more than 6% per annum, a party enjoying the support of two-thirds of the electorate, and a unified tripartite alliance. Today, South Africa is caught in the grip of a patronage network, the economy is floundering and the ANC is staring down the barrel of a defeat at the 2019 general elections.

How did we get here?

Zuma first brought to heel his party, Africa’s oldest and most revered liberation movement, subduing and isolating dissidents associated with his predecessor Thabo Mbeki. Then saw the emergence of the tenderpreneur and those attempting to capture the state, as well as a network of family, friends and business associates that has become so deeply embedded that it has, in effect, replaced many parts of government. Zuma opened up the state to industrial-scale levels of corruption, causing irreparable damage to state enterprises, institutions of democracy, and the ANC itself.

But it hasn’t all gone Zuma’s way. Former allies have peeled away. A new era of activism has arisen and outspoken civil servants have stepped forward to join a cross-section of civil society and a robust media. As a divided ANC square off for the elective conference in December, where there is everything to gain or to lose, award-winning journalists Adriaan Basson and Pieter du Toit offer a brilliant and up-to-date account of the Zuma era.

Adriaan Basson is an award-winning South African journalist and editor. He cut his teeth at the Afrikaans daily newspaper Die Beeld in 2003, where he was later to become editor. In 2016 he was appointed as editor of South Africa’s largest news site, News24.

Pieter du Toit is a political journalist and has held senior positions at a number of Afrikaans titles, including political correspondent and news editor at Die Beeld in Johannesburg. In 2016 he was appointed Deputy Editor of the newly launched Huffington Post South Africa. He has covered politics for more than a decade.

Event Details

  • Date: Thursday, 23 November 2017
  • Time: 5:30 PM for 6:00 PM
  • Venue: The Book Lounge, 71 Roeland Street, Cape Town | Map
  • Guest Speaker: Koketso Sachane
  • RSVP: booklounge@gmail.com
     

    Book Details

    • Enemy of the People: How Jacob Zuma stole South Africa and how the people fought back by Adriaan Basson, Pieter du Toit
      EAN: 9781868428182
      Find this book with BOOK Finder!

Watch: Adriaan Basson and Pieter du Toit discuss Enemy of the People on News24

Enemy of the People is the first definitive account of Zuma’s catastrophic misrule, offering eyewitness descriptions and cogent analysis of how South Africa was brought to its knees – and how a people fought back.

When Jacob Zuma took over the leadership of the ANC one muggy Polokwane evening in December 2007, he inherited a country where GDP was growing by more than 6% per annum, a party enjoying the support of two-thirds of the electorate, and a unified tripartite alliance. Today, South Africa is caught in the grip of a patronage network, the economy is floundering and the ANC is staring down the barrel of a defeat at the 2019 general elections.

How did we get here?

Zuma first brought to heel his party, Africa’s oldest and most revered liberation movement, subduing and isolating dissidents associated with his predecessor Thabo Mbeki. Then saw the emergence of the tenderpreneur and those attempting to capture the state, as well as a network of family, friends and business associates that has become so deeply embedded that it has, in effect, replaced many parts of government. Zuma opened up the state to industrial-scale levels of corruption, causing irreparable damage to state enterprises, institutions of democracy, and the ANC itself.

But it hasn’t all gone Zuma’s way. Former allies have peeled away. A new era of activism has arisen and outspoken civil servants have stepped forward to join a cross-section of civil society and a robust media. As a divided ANC square off for the elective conference in December, where there is everything to gain or to lose, award-winning journalists Adriaan Basson and Pieter du Toit offer a brilliant and up-to-date account of the Zuma era.

Adriaan Basson is an award-winning South African journalist and editor. He cut his teeth at the Afrikaans daily newspaper Die Beeld in 2003, where he was later to become editor. In 2016 he was appointed as editor of South Africa’s largest news site, News24.

Pieter du Toit is a political journalist and has held senior positions at a number of Afrikaans titles, including political correspondent and news editor at Die Beeld in Johannesburg. In 2016 he was appointed Deputy Editor of the newly launched Huffington Post South Africa. He has covered politics for more than a decade.

Click here to watch Basson and Du Toit’s recent News24 interview.

Book details

  • Enemy of the People: How Jacob Zuma stole South Africa and how the people fought back by Adriaan Basson, Pieter du Toit
    EAN: 9781868428182
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

Can the man in the middle lead from the front, asks Ray Hartley in Ramaphosa: The man who would be king

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is credited with driving through the deal between the apartheid government and the African National Congress that was at the heart of South Africa’s democratic constitution. He was the ANC’s lead negotiator and the man who persuaded one of the most recalcitrant racist governments in the world to buy into a settlement based on one of its most enlightened bills of rights.

But once the ink had dried on the constitution, Ramaphosa found himself politically sidelined. Before the negotiations he had been the head of the country’s largest mineworkers union. Afterwards, he went into business after concluding a landmark black empowerment deal.

A talented negotiator capable of driving a hard bargain between implacable enemies, Ramaphosa has always been ‘the man in the middle’.

Now, as Jacob Zuma’s presidency enters its final stretch, Ramaphosa has re-entered politics and is one of a handful of candidates to take over as ANC president and as president of South Africa. Should he succeed, he will take over a country that has been battered by years of corruption and misrule which flourished under Zuma.

The question that everyone is asking is: can the man in the middle lead from the front? Ray Hartley, author and seasoned journalist, attempts to answer that question by looking at how Ramaphosa has handled the key challenges he has faced in the unions, in business and in politics.

Ray Hartley worked as an administrator at the CODESA negotiations, which ended apartheid. He has covered the unfolding drama of the new South Africa as a political correspondent, travelling extensively with Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki. Hartley was the founding editor of The Times and editor of South Africa’s largest newspaper, The Sunday Times, from 2010 to 2013. He is author of Ragged Glory: The Rainbow Nation in Black and White and editor of the essay collection How To Fix South Africa.

Book details

Enemy of the State offers an account of how Zuma’s misrule brought South Africa to its knees – and how a people fought back

Enemy of the People is the first definitive account of Zuma’s catastrophic misrule, offering eyewitness descriptions and cogent analysis of how South Africa was brought to its knees – and how a people fought back.

When Jacob Zuma took over the leadership of the ANC one muggy Polokwane evening in December 2007, he inherited a country where GDP was growing by more than 6% per annum, a party enjoying the support of two-thirds of the electorate, and a unified tripartite alliance. Today, South Africa is caught in the grip of a patronage network, the economy is floundering and the ANC is staring down the barrel of a defeat at the 2019 general elections.

How did we get here?

Zuma first brought to heel his party, Africa’s oldest and most revered liberation movement, subduing and isolating dissidents associated with his predecessor Thabo Mbeki. Then saw the emergence of the tenderpreneur and those attempting to capture the state, as well as a network of family, friends and business associates that has become so deeply embedded that it has, in effect, replaced many parts of government. Zuma opened up the state to industrial-scale levels of corruption, causing irreparable damage to state enterprises, institutions of democracy, and the ANC itself.

But it hasn’t all gone Zuma’s way. Former allies have peeled away. A new era of activism has arisen and outspoken civil servants have stepped forward to join a cross-section of civil society and a robust media. As a divided ANC square off for the elective conference in December, where there is everything to gain or to lose, award-winning journalists Adriaan Basson and Pieter du Toit offer a brilliant and up-to-date account of the Zuma era.

Adriaan Basson is an award-winning South African journalist and editor. He cut his teeth at the Afrikaans daily newspaper Die Beeld in 2003, where he was later to become editor. In 2016 he was appointed as editor of South Africa’s largest news site, News24.

Pieter du Toit is a political journalist and has held senior positions at a number of Afrikaans titles, including political correspondent and news editor at Die Beeld in Johannesburg. In 2016 he was appointed Deputy Editor of the newly launched Huffington Post South Africa. He has covered politics for more than a decade.

Book details

  • Enemy of the People: How Jacob Zuma stole South Africa and how the people fought back by Adriaan Basson, Pieter du Toit
    EAN: 9781868428182
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

Eleven international releases to look forward to this November

Hit Refresh
Satya Nadella

From the CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, comes this inspiring account of the transformation of an organisation and the coming transformation of humanity.

As told by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Hit Refresh is the story of corporate change and reinvention as well as the story of Nadella’s personal journey, one that is taking place today inside a storied technology company, and one that is coming in all of our lives as intelligent machines become more ambient and more ubiquitous. It’s about how people, organisations and societies can and must hit refresh – transform – in their persistent quest for new energy, new ideas, relevance and renewal. At the core, it’s about us humans and our unique qualities, like empathy, which will become ever more valuable in a world where the torrent of technology will disrupt like never before.

As much a humanist as a technologist, Nadella defines his mission and that of the company he leads as empowering every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more.

Also available in eBook format.

What Does This Button Do?
Bruce Dickinson

‘I was spotty, wore an anorak, had biro-engraved flared blue jeans with “purple” and “Sabbath” written on the thighs, and rode an ear-splittingly uncool moped. Oh yes, and I wanted to be a drummer…’

Bruce Dickinson – Iron Maiden’s legendary front man – is one of the world’s most iconic singers and songwriters. But there are many strings to Bruce’s bow, of which larger-than-life lead vocalist is just one. He is also an airline captain, aviation entrepreneur, motivational speaker, beer brewer, novelist, radio presenter, film scriptwriter and an international fencer: truly one of the most unique and interesting men in the world.

In What Does this Button Do? Bruce contemplates the rollercoaster of life. He recounts – in his uniquely anarchic voice – the explosive exploits of his eccentric British childhood, the meteoric rise of Maiden, summoning the powers of darkness, the philosophy of fencing, brutishly beautiful Boeings and firmly dismissing cancer like an uninvited guest.

Bold, honest, intelligent and funny, this long-awaited memoir captures the life, heart and mind of a true rock icon, and is guaranteed to inspire curious souls and hard-core fans alike.

Also available in eBook format.

Fools and Mortals
Bernard Cornwell

A dramatic new departure for international bestselling author Bernard Cornwell, Fools and Mortals, takes us into the heart of the Elizabethan era, long one of his favourite periods of British history.

Fools and Mortals follows the young Richard Shakespeare, an actor struggling to make his way in a company dominated by his estranged older brother, William. As the growth of theatre blooms, their rivalry – and that of the playhouses, playwrights and actors vying for acclaim and glory – propels a high-stakes story of conflict and betrayal.

Showcasing his renowned storyteller’s skill, Bernard Cornwell has created an Elizabethan world incredibly rich in its portrayal: you walk the London streets, stand in the palaces and are on stage in the playhouses, as he weaves a remarkable story in which performances, rivalries and ambition combine to form a tangled web of intrigue.

Also available in eBook format.

Bad Dad
David Walliams

The new heart-warming and hilariously brilliant story from number one bestselling author David Walliams. Beautifully illustrated by artistic genius, Tony Ross.

Dads come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.

There are fat ones and thin ones, tall ones and short ones.

There are young ones and old ones, clever ones and stupid ones.

There are silly ones and serious ones, loud ones and quiet ones.

Of course, there are good dads, and bad dads . . .

A high-speed cops and robbers adventure with heart and soul about a father and son taking on the villainous Mr Big – and winning!

This riches-to-rags story will have you on the edge of your seat and howling with laughter!

Bad Dad is a fast and furious, heart-warming story of a father and son on an adventure – and a thrilling mission to break an innocent man into prison!

Also available in eBook format.

In the Midst of Winter
Isabel Allende

New York Times bestseller Isabel Allende returns with a beautifully crafted, multi-generational novel of struggle, endurance and friendship against the odds.

Amid the biggest Brooklyn snowstorm in living memory, an unexpected love blossoms between two people who thought they were deep in the winter of their lives. Richard Bowmaster, a lonely university professor in his sixties, hits the car of Evelyn Ortega, a young, undocumented migrant from Guatemala, and what at first seems an inconvenience takes an unforeseen and more serious turn when Evelyn comes to his house seeking help. At a loss, the professor asks his tenant Lucia Maraz, a fellow academic from Chile, for her advice.

These three are brought together in a mesmerizing story that sweeps from present-day Brooklyn to Guatemala to turbulent 1970s Chile and Brazil, and sparks a long-overdue love between Richard and Lucia, who discover within themselves, in the midst of winter, an invincible summer.

Woven with Isabel Allende’s trademark humanity,passion and storytelling verve, In the Midst of Winter is a vivid and unforgettable tale.

Also available in eBook format.

The Betrayal
Kate Furnivall

Could you kill someone? Someone you love?

Paris, 1938. This is the story of twin sisters divided by fierce loyalties and by a terrible secret. The drums of war are beating and France is poised, ready to fall. One sister is an aviatrix, the other is a socialite and they both have something to prove and something to hide.

Discover a brilliant story of love, danger, courage … and betrayal.

Also available in eBook format.

The Rules of Magic
Alice Hoffman

Practical Magic, to date Alice Hoffman’s biggest ever selling novel, became a major Hollywood film starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman who played sisters Sally and Gillian Owens. In this sparkling prequel we meet sisters Frances and Jet and Vincent, their brother. From the beginning their mother Susanna knew they were unique: Franny with her skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, who could commune with birds; Jet as shy as she is beautiful, who knows what others are thinking, and Vincent so charismatic that he was built for trouble.

Susanna needed to set some rules of magic: no walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles and certainly, absolutely, no books
about magic…

But the Owens siblings are desperate to uncover who they really are. Each heads down a life-altering course, filled with secrets and truths, devastation and joy, and magic and love. Despite the warning handed down through the family for centuries – Know that for our family, love is a curse – they will all strive to break the rules and find true love.

Also available in eBook format.

Dork Diaries 12: Crush Catastrophe
Rachel Renée Russell

Nikki Maxwell’s adventures continue in the twelfth installment in the blockbuster #1 New York Times bestselling Dork Diaries series!

In Nikki Maxwell’s newest diary, it’s the countdown to the end of the school year, and Nikki’s juggling some big questions about how she’ll spend her summer. She’s also facing an unexpected crush catastrophe–there’s a new kid interested in Nikki, but the last thing she wants to do is accidentally hurt Brandon!

It all comes down to a big decision Nikki has to make, and drama like she’s never faced before!

Also available in eBook format.

Sugar Money
Jane Harris

Based on a remarkable and little-known true story, Jane Harris’s third novel is both a heartbreaking trip into our troubled colonial past, and a stunning act of literary ventriloquism.

Martinique, 1765, and brothers Emile and Lucien are charged by their French master, Father Cleophas, with a mission.

They must return to Grenada, the island they once called home, and smuggle back the 42 slaves claimed by English invaders at the hospital plantation in Fort Royal. While Lucien, barely in his teens, sees the trip as a great adventure, the older and worldlier Emile has no illusions about the dangers they will face.

But with no choice other than to obey Cleophas – and sensing the possibility, however remote, of finding his first love Celeste – he sets out with his brother on this ‘reckless venture’.With great characters, a superb narrative set up, and language that is witty, bawdy and thrillingly alive, Sugar Money is a novel to treasure.

Also available in eBook format.

Sleep No More
P.D. James

The acknowledged ‘Queen of Crime’, P. D. James, was a past master of the short story, weaving together motifs of the Golden Age of crime-writing with deep psychological insight to create gripping, suspenseful tales. The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories contained four of these perfectly formed stories, and this companion volume contains a further six, published here together for the first time.

As the six murderous tales unfold, the dark motive of revenge is revealed at the heart of each. Bullying schoolmasters receive their comeuppance, unhappy marriages and childhoods are avenged, a murder in the small hours of Christmas Day puts an end to the vicious new lord of the manor, and, from the safety of his nursing home, an octogenarian exerts exquisite retribution.

The punishments inflicted on the guilty are fittingly severe, but here they are meted out by the unseen forces of natural justice rather than the institutions of the law. Once again, P. D. James shows her expert control of the short-story form, conjuring motives and scenarios with complete conviction, and each with a satisfying twist in the tail.

Also available in eBook format.

The Secret Life of Cows
Rosamund Young

Cows can love, play games, bond and form strong, life-long friendships. They can sulk, hold grudges, and they have preferences and can be vain.

All these characteristics and more have been observed, documented, interpreted and retold by Rosamund Young based on her experiences looking after the family farm’s herd on Kite’s Nest Farm in Worcestershire, England. Here the cows, sheep, hens and pigs all roam free. There is no forced weaning, no separation of young from siblings or mother. They seek and are given help when they request it and supplement their own diets by browsing and nibbling leaves, shoots, flowers and herbs.

Rosamund Young provides a fascinating insight into a secret world – secret because many modern farming practices leave no room for displays of natural behavior yet, ironically, a happy herd produces better quality beef and milk.

Also available in eBook format.

Book details

Read a feature interview with Michael Stanley about Dying to Live

When the body of a Bushman is discovered near the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the death is written off as an accident.

But all is not as it seems. An autopsy reveals that, although he’s clearly very old, his internal organs are puzzlingly young. What’s more, an old bullet is lodged in one of his muscles … but where is the entry wound?

When the body is stolen from the morgue and a local witch doctor is reported missing, Detective ‘Kubu’ Bengu gets involved. But did the witch doctor take the body to use as part of a ritual?

Or was it the American anthropologist who’d befriended the old Bushman?

As Kubu and his brilliant young colleague, Detective Samantha Khama, follow the twisting trail through a confusion of rhino-horn smugglers, foreign gangsters and drugs manufacturers, the wider and more dangerous the case seems to grow.

A fresh, new slice of ‘Sunshine Noir’, Dying to Live is a classic tale of greed, corruption and ruthless thuggery, set in one of the world’s most beautiful landscapes, and featuring one of crime fiction’s most endearing and humane heroes.

J.H. Bográn recently interviewed authors Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip for The Big Thrill:

Reading novels is one way to learn about new cultures, new flavors, and faraway places. Take, for instance, the Detective Kubu adventures set in Africa. Of course, the murders are fiction, but all of the settings are based on reality. Michael Stanley is the pen name and combined forces of two authors who enjoy writing together; they make a point of visiting everywhere in Botswana that they write about. Even if the physical details of the location do not appear in the story, the flavor of the place does.

Michael Stanley: Stanley Trollip & Michael Sears

 

Their most recent book, Dying to Live, opens with the discovery of a bushman’s corpse near the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. The death is written off as an accident. An autopsy reveals that, although the man is clearly very old, his internal organs are puzzlingly young. What’s more, an old bullet is lodged in one of his muscles, but there is no entry wound. Detective Kubu and his brilliant young colleague, Detective Samantha Khama, follow the twisting trail through a confusion of rhino-horn smugglers, foreign gangsters, and drugs manufacturers as the case widens and becomes more dangerous.

Keeping a character fresh is a challenge after six books, the first one dating back to 2008. Interestingly, in A Carrion Death, Detective Kubu appeared out of necessity to investigate a possible murder, but soon after took hold of the story.

“We try to have him develop from each book to the next so that he becomes deeper and rounder at each appearance. The latter is sometimes physical as well as intellectual!” say the authors. “One of the ways in which we do this is by putting him into different and challenging situations. For example, in the previous book, A Death in the Family, Kubu’s father is murdered. Not only does he have to face the emotional upheaval of his father’s death, but he’s prevented from taking part in the investigation of the case.”

In this new book, in addition to his professional commitments, Kubu faces a serious disruption in his family when his adopted daughter – who was HIV positive from birth – starts to develop an intolerance to her ARV medication. The theme of the book challenges Kubu and his wife, a challenge they negotiate with great difficulty.

The theme of Dying to Live is greed. This is set against the context of a hypothetical plant that can be used to prolong life. That makes it the ultimate source of greed, for who would not want that – and wouldn’t it be priceless? Another important aspect of the story is the bushmen themselves. “They have always fascinated us,” says Stanley. “We’ve read many books about them and visited places where they live. They have a tragic history, essentially having been driven into the semi-desert regions and then hunted like animals in colonial times.”

An important element of any culture is the food, and we see this reflected in the detective’s life. The authors contribute substantially to their character’s diet. “We think Kubu enjoys most of the things we like and rejects things we aren’t so fond of. Bobotie is a delicious South African dish with a Malay background. He loves it.”

The love for food goes beyond fiction as the authors produced a small recipe book covering some of their (and Kobu’s) favorite dishes – both traditional and more adventurous. A Taste of Africa is available at the usual online outlets. “Our readers enjoy trying out some of the food that gets a mention in the novel!” they say.

Continue reading Bográn’s feature here.

Dying to Live

Book details

Jonathan Franzen in conversation with Nick Mulgrew (3 November)

“Michael Stanley has written an excellent look at modern-day Botswana with a compelling cast of characters” – a review of Dying to Live

Dying to Live
When the body of a Bushman is discovered near the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the death is written off as an accident.

But all is not as it seems. An autopsy reveals that, although he’s clearly very old, his internal organs are puzzlingly young. What’s more, an old bullet is lodged in one of his muscles … but where is the entry wound?

When the body is stolen from the morgue and a local witch doctor is reported missing, Detective ‘Kubu’ Bengu gets involved. But did the witch doctor take the body to use as part of a ritual? Or was it the American anthropologist who’d befriended the old Bushman?

As Kubu and his brilliant young colleague, Detective Samantha Khama, follow the twisting trail through a confusion of rhino-horn smugglers, foreign gangsters and drugs manufacturers, the wider and more dangerous the case seems to grow.

A fresh, new slice of ‘Sunshine Noir’, Dying to Live is a classic tale of greed, corruption and ruthless thuggery, set in one of the world’s most beautiful landscapes, and featuring one of crime fiction’s most endearing and humane heroes.

Doreen Sheridan recently reviewed the sixth title in Michael Stanley’s Detective Kubu-series for criminalelement.com:

I’m a big fan of the police procedural, and I have a special place in my reader’s heart for books in the genre that are set outside of the United States. It is utterly fascinating to read about all the ways in which cultures differ, particularly in the policing methods and protocols that make up such a large part of these novels.

Michael Stanley’s Detective Kubu series is one excellent example, showcasing the police force of Botswana. In this sixth book, the dead body of a Bushman has been found near the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. It looks like he was the elderly victim of a scuffle gone wrong, but an autopsy reveals that despite his aged exterior and brittle bones, his internal organs are those of a much younger man.

Pathologist Ian MacGregor reports this puzzle to our hero, Assistant Superintendent David “Kubu” Bengu of the Criminal Investigation Department, as a matter of interest even though the death is outside Kubu’s jurisdiction. However, when the body is stolen from the Gaborone Morgue and connections start to emerge with the case of a recently missing local witch doctor, Kubu and his team are drawn in to investigate.

Foremost of this team is Samantha Khama, the first female detective in the Botswana CID and Kubu’s protégé. She’s been assigned the witch doctor case, one she takes on reluctantly after Kubu convinces her that it’s a good opportunity to snoop around in the witch doctor’s life. What better way to gather evidence to support her suspicions of his complicity in illegal activities, after all?

Continue reading Sheridan’s review here.

Book details