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Jonathan Ball

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

“Lots of muti to chew with an unrelenting, dangerous plot” -The Cape Argus reviews Dying to Live

Dying to LiveWhen 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.

Alan Peter Simmonds recently reviewed the sixth title in Michael Stanley’s Detective Kubu-series for the Cape Argus:

It has been suggested that Detective Kubu Bengu, hero of this series of detective thrillers set in Botswana, should be a contender for his own series like Alexander McCall Smith’s and I agree.

This sixth book in the series was my introduction to the African crime fighter; I look forward to reading all the books.

Real Africa, colloquial language, Botswana and the Kalahari unfold like the evening sky anywhere on the continent.

In this novel, already acclaimed by critics worldwide, the likeable, home-loving Bengu and his resilient young detective assistant Samantha Khama, plus a collection of savoury and non-savoury characters, tell a tale of death, deceit and intrigue in the sun, with conviction.

Continue reading Simmonds’ review here.

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