Michael Stanley: A Deadly Covenant

Today I’m taking part in the blog tour for A Deadly Covenant. My review is written with thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me on the blog tour and to Orenda Books for my copy of the book.

Blurb:

When a human skeleton is discovered at the site of a controversial new dam in remote northern Botswana, rookie Detective Kubu is drawn into a terrifying local feud, and discovers a deadly covenant that could change everything…

While building a pipeline near the Okavango Delta, a contractor unearths the remains of a long-dead Bushman. Rookie Detective David ‘Kubu’ Bengu of Botswana CID and Scottish pathologist, Ian MacGregor, are sent to investigate, and MacGregor discovers the skeletons of eight more men.

Shortly after the gruesome discoveries, the elder of a nearby village is murdered in his home. The local police are convinced it was a robbery, but Kubu isn’t so sure … and neither is the strange woman who claims that an angry river spirit caused the elder’s death.

As accusations of corruption are levelled and international outrage builds over the massacre of the Bushman families, Kubu and his colleagues uncover a deadly covenant, and begin to fear that their own lives may be in mortal danger…

Review:

It was a joy to be back with Kubu again. He’s a very different detective to the ones that often star in crime fiction, but he’s a wonderfully crafted character and you can’t help but root for him. In A Deadly Covenant, Kubu is a detective sergeant, still relatively new to policing, so he can be naive, but he’s determined to get to the truth and call out bad practice. I also love his relationship with Joy – it’s so wholesome and it makes me despair of the world a little less. 

The authors state at the beginning of the novel that the setting is partly fictionalised as they were unable to visit the area owing to Covid restrictions. Nevertheless, both the location and the customs of the local people felt very authentic and I loved being introduced to a culture with which I wasn’t previously familiar, and learning how their practices were linked to the crimes in the novel. 

The plot of A Deadly Covenant is a story with its roots over 30 years ago. It took some time for the different elements to come together, but in the end it does so in an incredibly clever way. I was really intrigued and I wanted to know the answers to the many questions that Kubu and his colleagues must ask of their suspects. 

I am looking forward to seeing what these authors do next! 

A Deadly Covenant is available from Amazon.

You can follow the rest of the blog tour here:

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