I’m absolutely ecstatic to host a stop on the blog tour of Deadly Harvest by Michael Stanley – a great writing duo made up of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. This book caught my attention from the front cover alone, and whilst I know you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, I had to! Look at it. What lies beneath (yes, I did just say that) is a tale of deception, corruption and lies. Before I go on, here’s what it’s about:
A young girl goes missing after getting into a car with a mysterious man. Soon after, a second girl disappears, and her devastated father, Witness, sets out to seek revenge. As the trail goes cold, Samantha Khama – new recruit to the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department – suspects the girl was killed for muti, the traditional African medicine usually derived from plants, sometimes animals, and, recently and most chillingly, human parts.
When the investigation gets personal, Samantha enlists opera-loving wine connoisseur Assistant Superintendent David ‘Kubu’ Bengu to help her dig into the past. As they begin to discover a pattern to the disappearances, there is another victim, and Kubu and Samantha are thrust into a harrowing race to stop a serial killer who has only one thing in mind …
What I say:
First of all I have to thank Karen at Orenda Books, the wonderful publisher, for the fabulous opportunity to read this delightful book.
But most importantly…Oh. My. Goodness. What a book! Literally, I have never read a book like it in my life and I’m so pleased I got the opportunity to read it. I honestly had no clue what to expect but I was addicted to this story.
Samantha Khama’s new to the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department and all she wants to do is capture the person who has been kidnapping and killing innocent young children, and sometimes adults, in order to make a potion. Disturbing, right? Well, even more disturbing than that is the apparent blind-eye the CID have towards these ‘abductions’. But Samantha, who has been personally affected by an abduction, decides to pull out all the stops and investigate regardless of what the other officers may think of her.
Detective Kubu, a family man and a man who plays by the book, is willing to listen to Samantha, but he doesn’t want her emotions to get in the way of the investigation. Whilst he may suspect something is a bit iffy with all the talk about witch doctors and potions called muti, he wants concrete evidence that’ll lead them to the killer who has been invisible thus far.
So how exactly does Samantha, who likes to let everyone know that she’s a woman in a man’s
profession, work with Kubu? Well, their interactions were great. She expressed herself eloquently and stood up for her points. Kubu listened attentively, gave her orders but also treated her as his equal – that’s why they worked.
We venture down several paths of uncertainty, see potential suspects, and then we’re blindsided by…obviously I just can’t say. But what’s fascinating about this story is that whilst we’re taken way out of our comfort zones and thrust into a new ‘fictional’ culture, none of that overshadows or gets in the way of the story. I think the story comes alive with the inclusion of abductions and killings for power. Oh, and lets not forget the teeny bit of corruption in the CID…
Also, I know I’ve already mentioned the invisible killer, but it was absolutely genius. I didn’t figure out who it was (no spoilers) until it was too late, and by that point I was annoyed with myself for not having guessed it.
This is one such book whereby I’ll say it’s OK to judge it by it’s cover. The mask you see before you, well not that exact one but the motif of masks is important. Michael Stanley’s characters (I’d be cheating if I pinpointed which ones) wear several hats and it’s normal for them to be different things to different people at any one time.
At no point in my reading did I ever feel as if two people were writing this, the narrative was smooth and fast-paced without fault. All I know is that I enjoyed every single moment of Deadly Harvest and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s pacy, exciting, a bit uncomfortable in places but full of surprises. You definitely need to read this book. I’d be lying if I said it was just an OK read – it was bloody brilliant!
Be sure to check out the other stops of this blog tour!
Where to buy
Are you following?