“Quartey’s mastery of the art of misdirection serves him well in his third mystery featuring Accra, Ghana, homicide detective Darko Dawson . . . A winner” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
A canoe washes up at a Ghanaian offshore oil-rig site. Inside it are the bodies of a prominent, wealthy couple, Charles and Fiona Smith-Aidoo, who have been ritualistically murdered. Pillars in their community, they are mourned by everyone, but especially by their niece Sapphire.
When months have passed since the murder and the local police have made no headway in figuring out who committed the gruesome crime, Sapphire is not happy. Det. Inspector Darko Dawson of the Accra police force is sent out to Cape Three Points to investigate. The more he learns about the case, the more convoluted it becomes. Three Points has long been occupied by traditional fishing populations—but real estate entrepreneurs and wealthy oil companies have been trying to bribe the indigenous inhabitants to move out. Soon, Dawson unearths a host of motives for murder, ranging from personal vendettas to corporate conspiracies . . .
Quartey's mastery of the art of misdirection serves him well in his third mystery featuring Accra, Ghana, homicide detective Darko Dawson (after 2011's Children of the Street). At dawn one morning in the Gulf of Guinea, a crane operator on an oil rig spots a drifting canoe. In the canoe are the bodies of Charles and Fiona Smith-Aidoo, who have both been shot, but the murderer has also beheaded the husband, scooped out an eye, and displayed the head on a pole. When the investigation stalls, Dawson gets on the case after the Smith-Aidoos' niece, Sapphire, a physician, petitions headquarters for a fresh look. Despite the Smith-Aidoos' prominence Charles was corporate-relations director for the oil company near whose rig the corpses were found, and Fiona was the first female director of the local assembly there's no shortage of those who wish them ill, including a man who blames the couple for indirectly causing his daughter's death. A complex plot, combined with a warts-and-all lead and an evocative portrayal of the author's native country, add up to a winner.