A(nother) Year of Orenda – Dying to Live by Michael Stanley

Back to Mandie who is sharing her thoughts on Dying to Live by Michael Stanley. I really enjoy this series and you can read my thoughts on the book right here. Read on to find out what the book is all about:

Source: Owned Copy
Release Date: 12 July 2017
Publisher: Orenda Books

About the Book

When the body of a Bushman is discovered near the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the death is written off as an accident. But all is not as it seems. An autopsy reveals that, although he’s clearly very old, his internal organs are puzzlingly young. What’s more, an old bullet is lodged in one of his muscles … but where is the entry wound?

When the body is stolen from the morgue and a local witch doctor is reported missing, Detective ‘Kubu’ Bengu gets involved. Kubu and his brilliant young colleague, Detective Samantha Khama, follow the twisting trail through a confusion of rhino-horn smugglers, foreign gangsters and drugs manufacturers. And the deeper they dig, the wider and more dangerous the case becomes…

A fresh, new slice of ‘Sunshine Noir’, Dying to Live is a classic tale of greed, corruption and ruthless thuggery, set in one of the world’s most beautiful landscapes, and featuring one of crime fiction’s most endearing and humane heroes.

Mandie’s Thoughts

I have to say the more I read about Detective “Kubu” Bengu, the more I find that I want to read. Like his surroundings he may not always move at the fastest of paces, but he is dedicated to both his family and his job. There is a dogged determination to get to the bottom of things that you can’thelp but admire and despite his rank he is also determined to help Detective Samantha Khama excel as well.

The book starts with the death of a bushman that is initially put down to an accident but when his body disappears this reopens the case and things start to get a lot more complicated. Kubu finds himself being pulled in different directions with the death of a witch doctor and the disappearance of an American citizen being added to his caseload. What he is not sure of is if these are all related or not and if he will ever find out the truth. If this is not enoughto tax him, we also get to see a little more of his personal life as things take a turn for the worse with his adoptive daughter’s health, putting more than a little strain on his marriage. 

What I love about these books is that you would never know that they were written by two people as everything flows seamlessly. They way in which Botswana is described transports the reader to another country where the pace and the beliefs may be different, but the crimes and the characters are no less compelling. It was interesting to see how the old ways were often in conflict with modern policing and could at times create a distraction.

I am enjoying watching the working relationship between Kubu and Samantha develop especially as their personalities are so different, yet their goals are completely in tune. Samantha is still a little headstrong and at times can be a bit blinkered in her lines of investigation (especially where witch doctors are concerned) but Kubu has a knack of using his experience and more open-minded approach to guide her in the right direction.

With each book we get a little more of a glimpse into Kubu the person not just the detective and just how much his family mean to him, engaging the reader and adding another dimension to the character. 

Dying to Live is another well written book in the Kubu series and even if you have not read any of the others you will still be able to enjoy it but having now read three of them I would wholeheartedly recommend you read as many of them as you can.

About the Author

Michael Stanley is the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Both were born in South Africa and have worked in academia and business. Stanley was an educational psychologist, specialising in the application of computers to teaching and learning, and is a pilot. Michael specialises in image processing and remote sensing, and teaches at the University of the Witwatersrand. On a flying trip to Botswana, they watched a pack of hyenas hunt, kill, and devour a wildebeest, eating both flesh and bones. That gave them the premise for their first mystery, A Carrion Death, which introduced Detective ‘Kubu’ Bengu of the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department. It was a finalist for five awards, including the CWA Debut Dagger. The series has been critically acclaimed, and their third book, Death of the Mantis, won the Barry Award and was a finalist for an Edgar award. Deadly Harvest was a finalist for an International Thriller Writers’ award.

Books by the Authors

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