I have enjoyed discovering the new Inspector Darko Dawson mystery series by Kwei Quartey. The novels are set in Ghana (where my husband is from) and the details of this West African country are perfect. In the first novel, Wife of the Gods, Darko Dawson must leave his wife and son to travel to the small town of Ketanu to investigate a murder.
A woman's body has been discovered just outside the small town. She was a promising med student that was involved in an HIV-Aids NGO. The local police are sure they have cracked the case when they charge a teenage boy with murder. They are less than thrilled when Darko is brought in to lead an inquiry. Darko speaks the local indigenous language so he is the right man for the job. However this area is an emotional landmine for him: his own mother disappeared here twenty-five years ago.
Dawson finds that his level-headedness, and deductive insight failing as he becomes more embroiled in both mysteries. And his modern sensibilities are clashing with the age-old customs of the town, primarily a disturbing tradition where families offer their teenage girls to fetish priests as troksi, or Wives of the Gods.
The second mystery, Children of the Street, takes place in Accra, the capitol of Ghana, where teenagers are turning up dead in the slums. Dawson has seen many crimes but none as chilling as this. All of the bodies feature a different signature – though what it represents, Dawson is not sure. He must search through the ghettos that pepper Accra, in hopes of finding the killer, or even street children who will be willing to talk to him to help solve the crimes.
These novels bring both the charm and poverty of Ghana to the forefront. All the details of Ghana are here and on point: the slang, the food, and the mannerisms, along with the gorgeous scenery. These would be a good pair for a weekend away. Enjoy!