Dying to live

Michael Stanley

Book - 2017

A Bushman is discovered dead near the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Although the man looks old enough to have died of natural causes, the police suspect foul play, and the body is sent to Gaborone for an autopsy. Pathologist Ian MacGregor confirms the cause of death as a broken neck, but is greatly puzzled by the man's physiology. Although he's obviously very old, his internal organs look remarkably young. He calls in Assistant Superintendent David "Kubu" Bengu. When the Bus...hman's corpse is stolen from the morgue, suddenly the case takes on a new dimension.

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Series
Stanley, Michael. Detective Kubu mystery.
Subjects
Genres
Suspense fiction
Mystery fiction
Detective and mystery fiction
Published
New York : Minotaur Books/St. Martin's Press 2017.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
xi, 324 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN
9781250070906
1250070902
Main Author
Michael Stanley (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Desire for immortality spawns murder and corruption fueled by greed in modern Botswana. Things are quiet for David "Kubu" Bengu, assistant superintendent of the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department, when he learns that the murder of ancient bushman Heiseb has raised unusual questions. While Heiseb's skin, hair, and bones are old, his organs are those of a younger man; then his corpse and all autopsy evidence are stolen from the morgue. Next a prominent traditional healer (or witch doctor, in the mind of Detective Samantha Khama) goes missing, as does an American professor who's studying the bushman oral tradition. Rejecting coincidence, Kubu searches the links that connect these separate cases, closely aided by Khama, who shines here, and a resourceful local constable. Kubu also has problems at home: his young daughter, Nono, is no longer responding to her HIV antiviral medication, and his wife, Joy, will try anything to help her child. The sixth in this fine series by South Africans Stanley Trollip and Michael Sears again features strong characterizations, a vivid sense of place, and a complex, fast-moving, and compelling plot. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

In this sixth Botswana-set title (after A Death in the Family), Assistant Supt. David ("Kubu") Bengu is called to investigate the baffling death of Heiseb, a Bushman—one of the San people of southern Africa—who is found dead near the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. The case becomes more perplexing when peculiar details about Heiseb's physiology emerge and the Bushman's body is stolen from the morgue. Kubu uncovers a connection to a missing anthropologist who was studying the oral traditions of the Bushmen as well as a link to the case of a missing witch doctor that Det. Samantha Kharma is probing while contending with departmental sexism. VERDICT Stanley, the pseudonym of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip, once again mixes strongly developed characters, puzzling plot twists, and a textured African setting in an international police procedural with heart and soul that will appeal to fans of Kwei Quartey and Alexander McCall Smith. [See Prepub Alert, 4/17/17.]—ACT Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

David "Kubu" Bengu, an assistant superintendent in the Botswana CID, investigates a particularly baffling murder in his sixth, and best, outing (after 2015's A Death in the Family). Ian McGregor, the pathologist for the Botswana Police Service in Gaborone, discovers some striking anomalies when he performs an autopsy on the body of a Bushman discovered in a game preserve: the youthful internal organs don't match the victim's aged exterior, and an old bullet inside him has no apparent means of entry. Soon afterward, the corpse is stolen from the morgue, strongly suggesting that it held secrets someone wanted kept hidden. Clues are hard to come by, but Kubu is interested to learn that the dead man, identified by acquaintances as Heiseb, recently met with anthropologist Christopher Collins, a researcher from the University of Minnesota. Collins, who has gone missing, was studying the Bushmen's oral traditions, which included a mode of storytelling in which the narrator pretends to have been present at events that predated his birth. Stanley (the pseudonym of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip) keeps the intriguing plot twists coming. Agent: Jacques de Spoelberch, J. de S. Associates. (Oct.) Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

When an autopsy of a body found near the Central Kalahari Game Reserve shows that the apparently-old victim had youthful organs, and the body subsequently disappears, David "Kubu" Bengu's investigation crosses the paths of poachers, witch doctors, and gangs.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

When the body of a Bushman with puzzling physiology is stolen from the morgue, pathologist Ian MacGregor calls in Assistant Superintendent David “Kubu” Bengu to investigate this strange case that has been taken to a whole new level.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Michael Stanley's Dying to Live is the sixth crime novel to feature the humble and endearing Detective Kubu, set against the richly beautiful backdrop of Botswana."A fantastic read. Brilliant!" -Louise Penny, New York Times bestselling author of The Long Way HomeA Bushman is discovered dead near the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in Africa. Although the man looks old enough to have died of natural causes, the police suspect foul play, and the body is sent to Gaborone for an autopsy. Pathologist Ian MacGregor confirms the cause of death as a broken neck, but is greatly puzzled by the man’s physiology. Although he’s obviously very old, his internal organs look remarkably young. He calls in Assistant Superintendent David “Kubu” Bengu. When the Bushman’s corpse is stolen from the morgue, suddenly the case takes on a new dimension.