BLACK MONEY by George H. Rosen


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A first novel in which an American, blackmailed into smuggling currency, is caught up in Kenyan political machinations and becomes the quarry of an extremely determined and alarmingly honest native police detective. The unwilling smuggler is Jonathan Grimes, a history teacher at a Methodist mission in a backwater village. The blackmailer is Bimji, an Indian entrepreneur who holds in his freezer the corpse of Grimes' fellow teacher. Bimji, threatening to frame Grimes for murder, forces him to carry a small fortune in cash to a pickup on the Kenyan coast. But what should have been straightforward smuggling turns out to be very, very sticky. The corpse in the freezer had been in the employ of an immensely powerful and corrupt cabinet minister; and Grimes, ignorant of the connection, soon wonders why he is being pursued by a mysterious bantam muscleman in Converse basketball shoes. Equally curious is Inspector Jacob Okiri, a most serious and methodical policeman. Tall, awkward, brilliant, from a politically insignificant tribe, Okiri is a modest master of paperwork, a man who can sniff out crime from bills, receipts, and schedules. And he is most interested in the movements of Mr. Grimes and Mr. Bimji, interested enough to detach himself from his unappreciative office and attach himself to the trail of an unreported crime. A sophisticated, rich and tantalizing portrait of East Africa hung modestly on a framework of police detection. Readers will pray for the reappearance of Inspector Okiri.

Pub Date: June 30th, 1987
Publisher: Stein & Day