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.
I found this book totally fascinating. The subject of witch doctors and the myths that surround them intrigued me, and in parts astounded me! The thought of someone breaking into a morgue to steal body parts to make potions for various outcomes was totally unbelievable but yet again very believable, So much so that I wanted to keep turning the pages.
I loved the fact that you gradually grew to know Detective kubu’s family, especially the story around his adopted daughter Nono, and her journey with HIV which runs alongside the main story and is very moving.
The story is fast paced and intricate and leaves you looking at the clock for when you can next sneak a minute to read a few more pages.
The characters all have depth and are extremely likeable, by the end of the book they feel like old friends. This is actually the sixth book in the Detective Kobo series and can definitely be read as a stand alone book. This a 5* review from me.
All about the author
Michael Stanley is the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Both were born in South Africa and have worked in academia and business. Stanley was an educational psychologist, specialising in the application of computers to teaching and learning, and is a pilot. Michael specialises in image processing and remote sensing, and teaches at the University of the Witwatersrand. The series has been critically acclaimed, and their third book, Death of the Mantis, won the Barry Award and was a finalist for an Edgar award. Deadly Harvest was a finalist for an International Thriller Writers award.