When a Botswana mine is robbed of 100,000 carats of diamonds and the thieves are murdered execution-style, Botswana’s Detective Kubu begins a terrifying international investigation in the prequel to the award-winning Detective Kubu series.
Recruited straight from university to Botswana’s CID, David ‘Kubu’ Bengu has raised his colleagues’ suspicions with his meteoric rise within the department, and he has a lot to prove…
When the richest diamond mine in the world is robbed of 100,000 carats worth of gems, and then the thieves are killed, execution-style, Kubu leaps at the chance to prove himself. But where are the diamonds? And what role does a witch doctor and his son play? Does this young detective have the skill – and integrity – to engineer an international trap? Or could it cost him everything, including his life…?
A riveting, chilling prequel to the award-winning Detective Kubu series, Facets of Death introduces the beloved Kubu and his richly described native Botswana, in a dark, sophisticated thriller that will leave you breathless.
I know that Karen can choose a detective novel – but I’m much more used to them emanating from much colder climes! I was absolutely intrigued to see what kind of detective fiction is coming out of Africa and loved the sound of Detective Kubu, so when I got the chance to take part in the blog tour, I signed up straight away! After reading the extremely tempting blurb, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy Facets of Death and, just as I suspected, I loved David ‘Kubu’ Bengu and really fell for the writing style as it really transported me into the glittering danger of life in Botswana’s diamond mines and kept me glued to the page whilst the international investigation unfolds. It was great to e in a totally different environment and setting and I loved the originality of this setting. A sig of success is when you start browsing for other books by a writer before you reach the end of the book – and I can’t wait to discover the full story of Detective Kubu and his adventures.
Detective ‘Kubu’ is a fresh-faced graduate when we meet him here, and it is obvious that his talent and enthusiasm for the post is already atracting a fair bit of jealousy and negativity from his peers. He is absolutely determined to get to the bottom of the diamond hijacking and as readers, we soon feel just as determined as he is to solve this twisty and very satisfying case It must be so difficult for crime writers to keep coming up with fresh and exciting ‘cases to crack’ and I think that this is one of the aspects of Michael Stanley’s writing that is gathering the most acclaim. You really feel like you get a deep dive into the case with Kubu and his somewhat unorthodox way of proceeding with things really sets him apart as a protagonist. I’m hearing it described as ‘sunshine noir’ and I am here for it! I love the way that you get to discover small details about the African setting and cultural background as we embark upon ‘solving’ the case and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough, to keep up with Kubu’s detective skills and quick brain. Even though his childhood nickname means ‘ Hippo’ he is as far from a PC Plod as you could imagine and I loved his orginal take on things as he deploys a fair bit of lateral tinking to crack this case…
I hate spoilers, so I don’t want to dwell too long on the plot of Facets of Death as I want you to be able to experience all the twists and turns for yourself – suffice to say that the skilful way that Michael Stanley weaves the many and disparate elements of this case into the narrative is superbly done and remains convincing throughout. I know at times it can feel like the fictional world is saturated with detective stories but the comparisons with McCall Smith are absolutely deserved and I defy you to get beyond the fourth page and not be locked in for the ride! This is a darker and more complex creation than Ramotswe and the addition of the witchdoctor and voodoo add an intriguing undercurrent to the story as we feel that the detectives have to operate on several levels – within the boundaries of both culture and the law, to try and get to the bottom of this case as things get darker and more tense. It is such a challenging novel to try ad solve yourself and that was one of the reasons that I loved it. If you like a crime novel that keeps you on your toes then look no further – this one kept me up half the night as I just had to know the truth!
I loved the way that this novel wove many threads together – a convincing detective story, a look at what it means to be a young detective an examination of the way that old belief systems intermingle with contemorary criminal behaviour – Facets of Death is definitely one of those novels that stays with you long after closing its final page and one that I will definitely be recommending to my friends – it packs a powerful punch and never lets up in terms of maintaining its cracking pace until you close the final page. I can’t wait to read Kubu’s entire story now that I’ve finished the prequel. I’m a sucker for a fantastically written crime read and he is definitely one of my favourite new crime writing creations. I can’t wait to see where this series goes and heartily recommend it for anyone who is bored of generic crime novels and thirsting for something really different that will transport them into a wholly realised world and grip them with a well written plot with characters that you will really care about.
Bravo, Michael Stanley you have me absolutely hooked!
Away and treat yourself – You’ll thank me for it.
But you don’t just have to take my word for it, have a look at the praise it has gathered already and enjoy!
“If you are like me and hadn’t read this series before, Facets of Death is a perfect way to jump into the series.” – Mystery Scene Magazine
“Besides being an exciting police procedural, this book… should send readers unfamiliar with the series right to the bookstore.” – Twin Cities Pioneer Press
” Every fan of mystery novels already should be reading and enjoying this series…” – Bookreporter
Writer On The Shelf
Follow Michael Stanley at https://www.facebook.com/MichaelStanleyBooks/
Michael Stanley is the writing name of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Both natives of Africa, we have traveled regularly together to Botswana and Zimbabwe over the past twenty years to experience the country with its wide diversity and interesting peoples.
Our books reflect the authentic Africa of the 21st century: not merely the politically unstable, desperately poor Africa of the nightly news, but also the emotional conflicts of people with one foot in traditional culture and the other in Western-instigated globalism. The new Africa is not a safari jungle, but a collection of diverse groups and nations struggling to find their way in a rapidly changing context.