THE MISSING AMERICAN by Kwei Quartey

THE MISSING AMERICAN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The author who followed Accra’s Chief Inspector Darko Dawson through five cases (Death by His Grace, 2017, etc.) debuts a new series heroine, a female investigator too principled for the Ghana Police Service.

It takes a long time for Gordon Tilson to disappear. First the D.C. widower forms a romantic attachment to his Facebook friend Helena Barfour; then he sends her gifts totaling $4,000 after her sister is injured in a traumatic accident; then he impulsively flies to Accra to see how he can help her in person; then he realizes she doesn’t exist and he’s been scammed; then, egged on by his journalist friend Casper Guttenberg, he overrules his original impulse to slink back home and decides instead to stay and investigate; and finally, six weeks after his arrival, he vanishes. His son, Derek, who disapproved of everything from Helena to the trip, follows him to Accra, where he hires private detective Yemo Sowah to find out what’s become of his father. Sowah has recently taken on a new operative, Emma Djan, who was bounced from the police force after she refused the aggressive advances of Commissioner Alex Andoh, the director-general of the CID. But Andoh is only the tip of an iceberg of corruption that would cover all of Ghana if it weren’t for the tropical weather. The web of deception also includes Nii Kwei, who’s tossed aside his degree in political science to become a sakawa boy, making his living through online scams; DI Doris Damptey, the eminently bribable officer who arrests Nii and turns him loose moments later; Godfather, the shadowy head of the sakawa empire; whoever ordered the assassination of presidential candidate Bernard Evans-Aidoo; and several other high-placed citizens whose identities will surprise only Emma.

Notable for its Ghanaian atmosphere and its densely imagined criminal web in which every point is connected to every other.

Pub Date: Jan. 14th, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-64129-070-8
Page count: 432pp
Publisher: Soho Crime
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2019




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