I’m so very pleased to be hosting a stop on the blog tour for Dying to Live by Michael Stanley today! Many thanks to Karen at Orenda Books and Anne Cater for having me!
Author : Michael Stanley
Title : Dying to Live
Pages : 298
Series : Detective Kubu
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : July 12, 2017
When the body of a Bushman is discovered near the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the death is written off as an accident. But all is not as it seems. An autopsy reveals that, although he’s clearly very old, his internal organs are puzzlingly young. What’s more, an old bullet is lodged in one of his muscles… but where is the entry wound?
When the body is stolen from the morgue and a local witch doctor is reported missing, Detective ‘Kubu’ Bengu gets involved. But did the witch doctor take the body to use as part of a ritual? Or was it the American anthropologist who’d befriended the old Bushman? As Kubu and his brilliant young colleague, Detective Samantha Khama, follow the twisting trail through a confusion of rhino-horn smugglers, foreign gangsters and drugs manufacturers, the wider and more dangerous the case seems to grow.
After getting acquainted with Scandi-Noir a few months ago, I now find myself being introduced to Sunshine Noir and who even knew that was a thing?!
Dying to Live is the sixth book in the Detective Kubu series but can be perfectly read as a stand-alone. Not having read the previous books in the series myself, I never felt lost or confused. Its beautiful and atmopsheric setting in the African country of Botswana really makes it stand out from other police procedurals in the crime fiction genre and allows it to deal with issues that may not work as well in a big western city environment.
When the body of a Bushman is found, investigators are baffled. To all appearances, the victim seems to be quite old, yet his organs could easily belong to a much younger person. There’s also a bullet lodged in his body but no entry wound, nor scars. Then the body is stolen from the morgue, a witch doctor goes missing and the team can’t find an American anthropologist either. Are all these events connected or pure coincidence? Detective Kubu and his team definitely have their work cut out for them.
It took me a while to get used to the various characters and their names, although there is a rather handy-dandy list for you to check at the start of the book if you get confused. But once I got the hang of it, I found myself immersed in the case that was being investigated. Dying to Live has a complicated and well executed plot with multiple layers and a bunch of untrustworthy and double crossing characters. How can you not be hooked, I ask you?
I found the subject matter to be incredibly thought-provoking as we dive into the world of man’s insatiable urge and obsession to find ways to live longer, no matter the money or the means. Ultimately this is a story about greed and corruption, about healers and smuggling and its setting in Botswana works like a charm. This would quite frankly make an excellent tv series!
Many thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books and Anne Cater for my advanced copy and for the opportunity to join the blog tour!
Dying to Live is available now!
Michael Stanley is the writing partnership of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Michael lives in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Stanley in Minneapolis. We have travelled extensively in Southern Africa and have a special love of Botswana, where our detective novels are set.