Mysteries in Black & Beyond

Murder at Cape Three Points (A Darko Dawson Mystery)

A canoe washes up at a Ghanaian off-shore oil rig site. Inside it are the bodies of a prominent, wealthy couple, Charles and Fiona Smith-Aidoo, who have been ritualistically murdered. Pillars in their community, they are mourned by everyone, but especially by their niece Sapphire. She is not happy that months have passed since the murder and the local police have made no headway in figuring out who committed the gruesome crime.

Detective Inspector Darko Dawson of the Accra police force is sent out to Cape Three Points to investigate. The more he learns about the case, the more convoluted it becomes. Three Points has long been occupied by traditional fishing populations, but real estate entrepreneurs and wealthy oil companies have been trying to bribe the indigenous inhabitants to move out. Dawson unearths a host of motives for murder, ranging from personal vendettas to corporate conspiracies. click to read excerpt

The Screaming of the Innocent

 Unity Dow 

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The Screaming of the Innocent (2002) is a powerful and disturbing book. A young girl vanishes; the police guess that she has been eaten by a lion, but the reader knows that she has been ritually murdered for body parts reputed to bestow great power. Years later a female student doing national service in the community comes across a box of clothing which seems to belong to the missing girl. But after she draws attention to it, the box vanishes. She seeks out a friend – now a lawyer – and the two young women pursue the matter together. So begins an illegal and undercover struggle for justice and retribution. Botswanan High Court Judge Unity Dow’s second novel is a gripping story of how groups of ‘little people’ come together to identify the prime suspects’ the ‘big men’ who are beneath contempt, but above the law.

No Place of Safety: A Crime Novel

Fifteen-year-old Katy Bourne and sixteen-year-old Alan Coughlan are missing. Though they are students at the same school, they hardly know each other, so it’s strange that they should disappear together. Katy’s mother, self-centered and unloving, doesn’t mind if her daughter never comes home. Alan’s solid working-class parents are pained and puzzled by their son’s departure.
There’s not much the police can do about runaway teenagers, but Detective Constable Charlie Peace goes through the motions. He interviews the families, he visits the school. Alan had friends and had aspired to a good education. Katy had nothing, least of all self-esteem.
The two teens could be anywhere, even living dangerously on the streets of Leeds, so it’s with relief that Charlie discovers them in a hostel for homeless young people. But are they safe? And who is Ben Marchant, the man who runs the shelter?
Whoever he is, he seems to be doing well. Young people beg or work as street musicians during the day, then eat and sleep at the hostel at night. They can remain there two weeks and then must leave for two weeks before beginning the cycle again. Only Katy and Alan stay longer. Only they have a special, mysterious understanding with Ben.
But all is not well at the shelter. Neighbors complain about strange goings-on. Residents too often display feelings of jealousy and suspicion. A young woman flees from a violent family member, perhaps bringing danger with her. Emotions run high, ranging from love and gratitude to fear and hate.
One person may even hate enough to murder. One person’s hate may destroy this place that some regard as a haven of peace and safety and others fear as something more complex and diabolical.
No Place of Safety combines brilliant social commentary with a mesmerizing mystery plot that will once again enthrall Robert Barnard’s legion of fans. Recognized as one of the best of all contemporary crime writers, Barnard is in top form.click excerpt

 

The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon (No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency Series)

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