LJ's Reviews > Wife of the Gods

Wife of the Gods by Kwei Quartey
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Sep 08, 10

bookshelves: africa, contemporary_post_1945, male_author, mystery, mysterybookclub, police_procedural
Read in August, 2010

First Sentence: The forest was black and Darko was afraid to enter.

DI Darko Dawson is ordered to investigate the murder of a young woman in Kentau, the town from which his mother disappeared many years before. Fighting an incompetent local policeman, superstition and a local priest to whom young women are given as trokosi or wives of the gods, Dawson sets about trying to solve both mysteries and prevent an innocent man from being hanged.

I very much enjoyed this book. On one hand, it is look and education into life in Ghana, which was fascinating; on the other hand it’s a good, solid mystery.

Quartey creates a very strong sense of place whether it be in the town or the small village. We see the customs, even down to the manner of salutations, and superstition, as well as the contrast between lives in the two environments.

Dawson is well-crafted character. He comes from a family history that is less than ideal, smokes marijuana, although it is illegal, a critically ill son and a difficult relationship with his mother-in-law. Although it wasn’t focused upon, I did wonder whether Dawson has a form of synesthesia from there being a couple mentions of his being able to feel voices.

I appreciated the contrast between Dawson, who uses standard investigative techniques, and Fiti who believe in superstition and forcing a confession to prove his belief. However, I also appreciated there being repercussions for Dawson’s actions, which is unusual.

The story is well plotted and I certainly did not figure out the killer prior to it being revealed. It is wonderful to see more new authors appearing from other countries. I look forward to reading Mr. Quartey’s next book.

WIFE OF THE GODS (Pol Proc- DI Darko Dawson-Ghana, Africa-Cont) – VG
Quartey, Kwei – 1st book
Random House Trade Paperback, ©2009, Amer Trade Paperback – ISBN: 9780812979367
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