A prequel to the award-winning Detective Kubu series
David Bengu has always stood out from the crowd. His personality and his physique match his nickname, Kubu—Setswana for "hippopotamus"—a seemingly docile creature, but one of the deadliest in Africa. His keen mind and famous persistence have seen him rise in the Botswana CID. But how did he get his start?
His resentful new colleagues are suspicious of a detective who has entered the CID straight from university, skipping the usual beat cop phase.
Shortly after he joins the CID, the richest diamond mine in the world is robbed of 100,000 carats of diamonds in transit. The robbery is well-executed and brutal. Police immediately suspect an inside job, but there is no evidence of who it could be.
When the robbers are killed execution-style in South Africa and the diamonds are still missing, the game changes, and suspicion focuses on a witch doctor and his son. Does "Kubu" have the skill and the integrity to engineer an international trap and catch those responsible, or will the biggest risk of his life end in disaster?
Thriller Award finalist Stanley's entertaining seventh mystery featuring policeman David "Kubu" Bengu (after 2017's Dying to Live), a prequel, focuses on Bengu's early days with the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department. In 1998, Bengu, who's earned the nickname Kubu (meaning hippo) because of his girth, has been hired as a detective sergeant straight out of university, despite lacking experience as a beat cop. That special status makes his new colleagues jealous, even as Kubu dives into two baffling cases. One involves tourist luggage that keeps disappearing on flights from Botswana to Europe and that provides Bengu an opportunity to display his cleverness. The other, more important case involves identifying the mastermind behind an attack on an armored vehicle carrying diamonds that left numerous guards dead. Series followers will enjoy the backstory to a significant personal relationship for the endearing lead. Stanley (the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip) should win fans of Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, likewise set in Botswana, with this outing.