Monday, October 31, 2011
Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey
As he lies on the ground and feels his life drain out of him, he remembers his father's words. He had told him that going to the city and living on the streets would kill him...
I got my copy of this ebook from Net Galley and Random House Publishing (thank you). The book was published in July, so you can get a copy now at your local bookstore.
This mystery is set in West Africa in Ghana. As children grow into their early teens, they come to the city of Accra and live in the slums. They work hard to make money, doing whatever they must to feed themselves. They have hopes of making enough to send some money home, but that's almost a false hope. Especially when a serial killer starts murdering them...
Darko Dawson is the detective assigned to the case. He has enough personal problems, I found it surprising he could do his job. He's fighting an addiction to marijuana, has a young son with a hole in his heart, and his police partner wants his job. But he cares about these homeless kids, and really tries hard to solve the case.
This has the flavor of Ghana. The homeless children talk at least five different languages, depending on what part of the country they came from. There are bullies taking what they need from others. There are packs of children working together for safety. And in the midst of all this sorrow, there is hope.
The story is complex, holds together well, and I never imagined who the killer turned out to be. I really enjoyed reading this book and will be watching for the next one Mr. Quartey writes. I like his style of writing.