A 2021 Edgar Nominee for Best Novel
Accra private investigator Emma Djan's first missing persons case will lead her to the darkest depths of the email scams and fetish priests in Ghana, the world's Internet capital.
When her dreams of rising through the Accra police ranks like her late father crash around her, 26-year-old Emma Djan is unsure what will become of her career. Through a sympathetic former colleague, Emma gets an interview with a private detective agency that takes on cases of missing persons, theft, and infidelity. It’s not the future she imagined, but it’s her best option.
Meanwhile, Gordon Tilson, a middle-aged widower in Washington, DC, has found solace in an online community after his wife’s passing. Through the support group, he’s even met a young Ghanaian widow he’s come to care about. When her sister gets into a car accident, he sends her thousands of dollars to cover the hospital bill—to the horror of his only son, Derek. Then Gordon decides to surprise his new love by paying her a visit—and disappears. Fearing for his father’s life, Derek follows him across the world to Ghana, Internet capital of the world, where he and Emma will find themselves deep in a world of sakawa scams, fetish priests, and those willing to kill to protect their secrets.
At the start of this solid series launch from Quartey (the Darko Dawson series), a sniper assassinates Bernard Evans-Aidoo, a Ghanaian presidential candidate campaigning on an anti-corruption platform. Meanwhile, the hopes of 26-year-old Emma Djan, a detective constable in Accra, to become a homicide detective like her late father are dashed after she resists the advances of the sleazy commissioner of police, who offered her a transfer to the murder squad in return for sex; the commissioner then has her fired on trumped up charges. After doing some other work, Emma leaps at the opportunity to join a PI firm, which involves her in a complex missing person's case. American Gordon Tilson, a lonely widower, was lured to Ghana by Helena, an online scam artist who pretended to be interested in him romantically and accepted thousands from him to pay her sister's supposed medical bills. Soon after Tilson decided to try to seek justice, he disappeared. Quartey keeps readers guessing as to whether and how the political murder is linked to the Tilson case. Readers will welcome Emma into the ranks of capable female detectives.
Interesting insights into life and corruption in Ghana.
Emma, the featured sleuth of the series, is well drawn, attractive, fearless, and persistent.