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Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery (Darko Dawson #2)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  560 Ratings  ·  118 Reviews
In the slums of Accra, Ghana’s fast-moving, cosmopolitan capital, teenagers are turning up dead. Inspector Darko Dawson has seen many crimes, but this latest string of murders—in which all the young victims bear a chilling signature—is the most unsettling of his career. Are these heinous acts a form of ritual killing or the work of a lone, cold-blooded monster? With time r ...more
ebook, 221 pages
Published July 12th 2011 by Random House (first published January 1st 2011)
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Mocha Girl
Dec 16, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It Takes a Village...

Kwei Quartey's latest novel returns to Ghana, where there is an estimated 60,000 children roaming the streets of Accra and someone is killing them and mutilating their bodies. Detective Darko Dawson is on the case capturing the readers' hearts with his selfless acts of compassion and dedication, caring and sharing when and where many others would not. Children of the Street hones in on an actual, persistent problem of youth from all regions of Ghana converging on its capital
Street kids are being murdered and mutilated in Accra, Ghana, with the bodies dumped in filthy locations. Inspector Darko Dawson is assigned the case, and is frustrated that resources are being allocated to more important murders. Darko has a big heart, and is always trying to help the less fortunate. He reaches out for support from many places: a journalist, a professor, street kids, a reformed drug dealer, etc. and slowly sorts through a lengthy and heterogeneous group of suspects. His determi ...more
Jan 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ghana
“When you are rich, you are resented; when you are poor, you are despised”
Ashanti proverb

i'm so happy to find another mystery series set in Africa. It’s possible that my relationship, my level of intimacy, with Alexander McCall Smith was becoming too dependent for good mental health. A detective set in another English speaking African country is nice, too, as Mma Ramotswe and Detective Kubu have Botswana well covered.

This was quite satisfying as a mystery - i didn’t ID the perp til very late in
The Detective Darko books tackle serious criminal acts occurring in Accra, Ghana. This book (#2 in the series) focused on crimes against children. A difficult subject but not something society can ignore.
I enjoyed learning about the cultural aspects of Ghana. Despite the strengths, I still found the mystery easy to solve. Hence, a three-star rating.
Sep 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone who loves mystery and boooks about different cultures
Shelves: favorites
Well. What can I say? This is one well-written book. From the beginning, I was drawn in to the subtleties of culture and social issues in Ghana, as well as the brilliant mystery plot. Author Kwei Quartey has outdone himself with this book - it's a treasure, one to be read and highly recommended.

With great insight, author Kwei Quartey brings the children of Accra's streets to life in his latest book, Children of the Street. If you're like me, you haven't read a lot of fiction about or from Ghana
Jul 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of good crime novels
Kwei Quartey’s Children of the Street is the sequel to his terrific debut, Wife of the Gods, which introduced Detective Inspector Darko Dawson of the Ghana police in Accra. Our Mystery Book Group read the first book in November 2010, and it was very well received. I was eager to read the sequel and was certainly not disappointed. It became a case of despite everything I needed to do, I just sat in my chair and read instead. It was both a police procedural and a very intense psychological thrille ...more
Aug 18, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My second in the inspector Darko Dawson series based in Accra, Ghana. Darko is a no nonsense detective within the Ghana Police Service trying to find a killer who is preying on “street children”, young people who travel to the capital to make a life away from their villages with no help or protection and end up living on the street. I enjoy this series mainly because Darko reminds me a teeny bit of Idris Elba’s "Luther" character (if he were to ever settle down). I also love that it gives a peek ...more
Sep 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-ghana
My first read of this series and it's book two and I'm hooked for life. Darko Dawson is a cop who spends his own money trying to solve the case. He has a lovely wife and a weakness for weed that could be his undoing. He also has a young son with a hole in his heart who needs surgery soon. Plus he has his boss' nephew working for him. Good plot lines take you into Africa. Good vivid descriptions that show people persevering in the midst of poverty without generating sympathy or pity. Darko is a g ...more
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent Darko Dawson book. This one is really gruesome.
I love the bit in the beginning with the broken computer stamped with "School District of Philadelphia" and the mention of rich places discarding their trash to Ghana as "charitable donations". So true, but I bet that computer was trash when it got to the classroom in Philadelphia too.
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was initially not liking the flow of the story but I kept reading and I'm glad I did. I need to read more of Quartey's novels.
Jan 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Children of the Street is the thrilling, second installment of the Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery series by Kwei Quartey. Readers are ushered onto the bustling streets of Accra, the capital of Ghana, that consist of an array of orphaned children without shelter and supportive families. The poor children of the street endure great hardship in order to survive daily. By day, the city of Accra resembles a cultivated environment full of successful businesses, endless pedestrians, and impermeable tra ...more
I am not a crime/mystery lover. I find the detective/psychopath killer storyline in this fiction interesting, though it is kind of predictable. The fiction is composed of three sections. The first two sections introduce the major characters involved in the murders, as well as set up the pattern of the serial killings, whereas the last section focuses on the detective's actions in order that the final truth--who is the serial killer--will be revealed.
While I am not really fascinated by the murde
Aug 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
2nd in the series featuring Darko Dawson, detective with the Ghana Police Service. This one is set entirely in the capital city (Accra) and deals with what turns out to be serial killing of street children. The setting is well-described and my heart ached for these teenagers who have almost no options and little hope. This series is often compared to the Ladies #1 Detective series because of its African setting, but it is far grittier.
Naomi Blackburn
Aug 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was fantastic on multiple fronts. First the storyline literally sucked me in from page 1. It is absolutely heart-breaking, simply because one knows that this type of violence happens daily, worldwide, against children living on the streets. Second, bottom line, it is just a well-written book. This is def. a new author who I will continue to seek out.
Feb 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it! Quartey has built such rich, interesting characters! It's so interesting to learn about Ghana. The mystery was complex and kept me guessing to the end. I'm really looking forward to learning more about Darko and his family in the coming books!
Nancy H
Jun 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy this mystery series. I know very little about the country of Ghana, and I like this opportunity to read about it. The mystery is good in these novels, and the characters are excellent.
Mira Bluhm
Ich hatte mir eingebildet, ich hätte den ersten Teil dieser Serie, Trokosi, voriges Jahr gelesen. Dann dachte ich, das kann nicht sein, das habe ich ja noch als Taschenbuch, voriges Jahr habe ich schon ausschließlich eBooks gelesen. Also habe ich auf meiner Leseliste nachgesehen, und tatsächlich, ich habe das Buch bereits im August 2011 gelesen.

Krimi ist ja gar nicht mein Genre. Hin und wieder - ganz selten, höchsten ein Mal im Jahr - lese ich dann aber doch einen. Trokosi hat mich damals anges
Ann Tonks
To be honest, I can no longer remember whether this was well written or not but I was completely enthralled by it's Ghanian setting. It provides a vivid picture of Accra, its people, its cityscape, its politics, its children and its police. I'm looking forward to more Darko Dawson novels.
Susan Kosel
Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great characters.
Jul 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing

Posted on July 27, 2011 by Beth

Inspector Darko Dawson of the Ghana Police Service in Accra is called to a polluted lagoon when the body of a young man is discovered, already in a state of decomposition. In the heat of Accra, it is difficult to determine the time of death but it is not difficult to see that he died of a stab wound in the back that destroyed the lung.

The call to the police has come from a nine year-old boy, Sly, who, by calling the authorities,
Lakis Fourouklas
This is one of those novels that are not so easy to read. Not because of the writing, which is excellent, but because of the subject matter, which is as bleak as it can get.
If I could use just one word to describe this book I would say that it’s a document; the document of a harsh and heart-breaking reality in a brutal place.
The main protagonist in this story is Inspector Darko Dawson, who works for the police force of Ghana’s capital city, Accra. Darko is one of those rare or rather unconvent
Cathy Cole
May 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First Line: A day shy of his seventeenth birthday, Musa was a boy with the survival instincts of a grown man.

If you're a child living on the streets of Accra in Ghana on the west coast of Africa, you have to develop these survival instincts or you will die. There are sixty thousand other homeless street children in Accra. Musa is merely one of many.

When Detective Inspector Darko Dawson is called out to investigate the murder of one such street child in the slum of Agbogbloshie, little does he kn
Apr 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-africa
The streets of any big city are “home” - term used very loosely – to an assortment of runaway and thrown-away children. These kids have to watch each others' backs against all threats – including each other – because no one else is there to do it. Sometimes, their self-developed safety net fails.

In “Children of the Street”, Kwei Quartey explores the issue of runaway children in Accra, the capital of Ghana – because there appears to be a serial killer that has discovered that they are easy prey.
This second in the "Darko Dawson" series (following Wife of the Gods) finds the Ghanaian Detective Inspector roaming the capital city of Accra in search of the serial killer stalking the city's vast population of homeless children and teens. As best one can tell from the available statistics, about 1 in every 100 resident of Accra is a homeless street child, hustling for day-labor work and literally sleeping in the streets. This makes them easy prey for every kind of predator imaginable, especia ...more
Eugenia O'Neal
When Detective Inspector Darko Dawson is called out to the Korle Lagoon where the near-fingerless body of a homeless boy was found he has no idea that more murders will follow. A killer is preying on the children and others who live on the margins of society in Ghana’s teeming capital city. The mutilated bodies and their disposal in Accra’s dump sites suggest the killer is sending a message but what it is Darko has no idea.

Even as Darko struggles to unravel the mystery before the killer strikes
Nov 25, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
an interesting story set in an unusual location. worth reading on that level alone. you do get a nice feel for the country and good look at the culture. The story opens very well and remains inventive for the first half of the book. many of the characters are well drawn, including of course, Inspector Dawson himself, who is a very likeable fellow with considerable integrity operating in an enviornment that doesn't always admire that characteristic and a system that has very limited technological ...more
This isn't the first mystery series I've read in which the initial volume is intensely personal, focusing on how the protagonist became the sort of person compelled to solve crimes. (A painful unsolved crime in the protagonist's past is the usual motivation). Once that's revealed/resolved, the subsequent volumes have to fall back upon mysteries in which the protagonist is less personally invested, and they tend to feel less emotionally resonant by comparison. Quartey does make an effort to furth ...more
Deborah Wilson
I've just finished reading all four books in Darko Dawson series. Unfortunately, i had to read them out of order due to library availability, but it didn't make a difference. These books are masterful. Darko methodically plods along solving very complex cases with social overtones in a country, Ghana, where modern technology blends with superstitious and age old customs. The way Quartey introduces families and neighborhoods makes the reader feel like a welcome guest. His descriptions are beautif ...more
Oct 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I thought this was a excellent book and a great follow up to his first book. What I like about Kwei books is that it's a history lesson and a travelogue in Ghanaian culture. You also see the character Inspector Darko Dawson as a person that you can easily relate with, Kwei shows that Darko has flaws like all humans. The street children in Ghana are shown in a compassionate way and yet you still feel their pain. You become transfixed by the children's plight of their daily survival and constant s ...more
Jun 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a murder mystery set in Accra, Ghana, featuring Detective Inspector Darko Dawson. Dawson is on the case of what appears to be a serial killer who murders teenagers who have come from their villages to the capital city to seek a better life and who end up living and sleeping on the city streets. Although the story is fiction, many names of the streets and market places in Accra are real and the daily life of the street children is based on fact. The author spent time researching these pla ...more
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Literary Fiction ...: Discussion: Children of the Street 175 96 Jan 09, 2013 12:31PM  
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Kwei Quartey is a crime fiction writer and physician living in Pasadena, California. Having practiced medicine for more than 20 years while simultaneously working as a writer, he has attained noteworthy achievements in both fields. Dr. Quartey balances the two professions by dedicating the early morning hours to writing before beginning a day in his clinic.

Kwei Quartey attended medical school at H
More about Kwei Quartey...

Other Books in the Series

Darko Dawson (5 books)
  • Wife of the Gods (Darko Dawson #1)
  • Murder at Cape Three Points (Darko Dawson #3)
  • Gold of Our Fathers (Darko Dawson #4)
  • Death by His Grace (Darko Dawson #5)