When a bright young medical student is found dead outside the small village of Ketanu in Ghana’s Volta region, Detective Inspector Darko Dawson is called from Accra to consult in the investigation. A loving father and sometimes overzealous officer, Dawson has personal ties to the town — it is where his mother disappeared many years ago after visiting family.
When he arrives in Ketanu, Dawson must juggle a stubborn local police chief; several unlikely suspects; accusations of witchcraft; and an unsettling religious custom in which families give their teenage daughters to priests to become wives of the gods. As the case deepens and the suspect pool narrows, Dawson struggles to maintain both his subterranean temper and faith in his own investigative skills.
“On the way again, Dawson noticed how the vegetation began to change from open bush with isolated skyscraper trees to denser semi-deciduous forest, but that in turn gave way to buildings as Dawson approached Ketanu. He passed a sign announcing YOU ARE ENTERING KETANU and slowed down over the brain-rattling speed strips. If Ketanu had been an impressionist painting, it would have been dots and daubs of tan and brown. Buildings were a cream color or darker, and the rusted tin roofs exactly matched the color of the ground. Tro-tros and taxis plied the streets, and shops and trading kiosks lined the roadside with entertaining appellations like Nothing but Prayer Electrical Goods and God Is Great Hair Clinic. Dawson loved these names.”
Kwei Quartey is a physician and author of crime novels, including Wife of the Gods, Children of the Street, and Death at the Voyager Hotel. Raised in Ghana, Quartey now lives and practices medicine in Pasadena, California.
Length: 311 pages
Set in: Accra and the Volta region, Ghana
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