Monday, April 02, 2012

Wife of the Gods by Kwei Quartey

On the back cover of the audiobook case for Wife of the Gods by Kwei Quartey, Kirkus Reviews is quoted “Move over Alexander McCall-Smith. Ghana has joined Botswana on the map of mystery.” This seems to me an unintentionally misleading statement because the only common factor between mysteries of McCall Smith and Quartey is the African setting. They are otherwise very different. McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency books are gentle and filled with humor, while Quartey’s Inspector Darko Dawson Series mysteries are violent and serious. Inspector Dawson, who loves his marijuana, violates police protocol frequently, and beats a couple of suspects after charging other cops with brutality. Mma Ramotswe would never act like Dawson.

Now that you are forewarned about the differences, I suggest that you try listening to Wife of the Gods if you enjoy flawed cops like Kurt Wallander or like learning about foreign cultures while trying to solve a mystery. The author Quartey evokes a tropical Ghana filled with superstition and bad cops. The plot also has a good supply of twists that will be a challenge to foresee. It will be interesting to see how Inspector Dawson develops in subsequent titles.

Quartey, Kwei. Wife of the Gods. Tantor Audio, 2010. 8 compact discs. ISBN 9781400113415.

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