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Children of the Street

(Darko Dawson #2)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  773 ratings  ·  154 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
Paperback, 334 pages
Published July 12th 2011 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published January 1st 2011)
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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Mocha Girl
Dec 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Street children in Accra suffer death at the hands of a man leaving them in trashy places. The killer leaves behind other clues which Inspector Darko Dawson and others of the Accra police must decipher before the killer's apprehension. In the meantime, Darko's son Hosiah needs an expensive operation. Quartey's series locale provides an atmosphere unlike most other detective series. While vocabulary differs somewhat from American terminology, a glossary helps readers with some of the nuances of t ...more
Sep 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
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
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
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.
Jun 12, 2019 rated it liked it
I read to visit other times and places ...and Buy! does this book transport me!. The author's gritty, presumably accurate, rendering of the street childrens' life in Accra is troubling -- how can we allow such unevenness in wealth and opportunity persist? Or, more to the point, what can we do to help make things more humane and even?
I love Darko, the detective: he is completely sympathetic, even as I cannot begin to imagine doing his job ...*surviving* his job. I look forward to the next book.
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
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
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
Apr 21, 2016 rated it liked it
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
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.
Feb 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
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.
Zenizole  Gqada
May 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Children of the street x Kwei Quartey

This is probably one of the most heartbreaking books I’ve ever read. Heartbreaking but with a lot of lessons— we see that clearly when the proverbs come into play.

There’s this stereotype that children of the street are the cause of all the problems communities face. House break-ins, rape, stealing of car tires etc— and while some of the children do this, we fail to realize that not all of them are like that. We paint them all with the same brush.

We don’t tak
“Accra is a perfect place for murder. It is so dark and so quiet at night. Street people sleeping everywhere. Who knows they are there and who cares about them? Who will report anything? (Pg. 322)
Decided to start the year with an adult read for a change LOL..and this one I picked up awhile ago and had on my radar to read for a while..sigh my TBR list is astronomical but somehow I found this one left in a suitcase to read on a vacation and decided to get into this is about the slums..the m
Willy Wills
Jul 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing

A bit longer than his previous one, Wife of Gods, but its still an easy read with simple language even for non-fluent English readers.

It's still set in Ghana, with Protagonist same Detective Darko Dawson. The novel, just like previous one, it's also explore the social problem; this one is STREET CHILDREN. How they live, how they get money, how they are abused, how NGOs tries to assist them, how they are abused and social violence between themselves. But this one has gone far by exploring a d
Dario searches the slums for a child killer

I so needed the glossary of terms in the beginning of the book. As I am on my Kindle, I did not discover it until the end.
I must have read #1, but have no memory of it and forgot to add a review.
Children of the Street describes the abject poverty many Guanians have to suffer. The life conditions they accept as normal is a cesspool of filth and disease. Dario has to navigate through these horrid conditions to catch a foul murderer as terrible as the slum
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: african-lit
I really enjoyed Book One of the Darko Dawson series 'Wife of the Gods', the sequel 'Children of the Street' was another great read. Quartey's books are achieving something important - depicting every day Ghanaian life. A simplicity African authors aren't often given the freedom to do, African literature somehow has to 'do more' than just be an enjoyable story.

If you enjoy murder-mysteries and detective stories then you will like 'Children of the Street'. It keeps the reader in suspense long eno
Jun 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2019
Three & a half stars. Brought me deeply into a place full of lives I can barely imagine, without making me feel left out or hopeless.

"I understand your skepticism, Inspector, and I've heard it a lot. Many people say to me, 'Aren't you just wasting your time dredging this place when trash is being dumped faster than you can remove it?' But my answer is, Can we really afford not to try? One day in the future when I'm old and gray, I'll come down here and look the beautiful, clear water of the l
As far as sequels go is definitely one of the better ones I've read. Getting back with Darko was refreshing, the pacing and writing style working well for me once I got used to it. I don't want to say much, I didn't know anything about it going in. I will say I did noticed there were a few things missing from the story, like the way Darko used to be able to see truth from lies. There were also some new aspects, to make up for the lost ones (again, no spoilers).
Overall though a great followup to
Margo Tanenbaum
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a great series for those who enjoy police procedurals with a foreign twist. The main detective, Darko Dawson, fits in with the flawed police detectives such as Harry Bosch and Kurt Wallander, and the local color with the Ghana setting is extremely well done. Please do not compare this series with The First Ladies Detective Agency! They are not similar, except for the African setting. These are definitely not cozy mysteries like those of Alexander McCall Smith; these have a much more grit ...more
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

I really enjoyed this book. Some of the writing annoyed me, there were a lot of cliches in the characters personalities. The mystery aspect was just okay. What I really enjoyed was the cultural aspects of the book. It is set in Ghana, and I loved reading the proverbs and about the food and atmosphere of this country. The murders were taking place among homeless children which was a really interesting subject to base the book around. I picked this out from the library not knowing it was
Elyse Rudin
Apr 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Almost a four. I read the first in this series and I really enjoyed this sequel. The main character, an inspector from Ghana, is back with his wife and 7 year old son with a heart defect. Someone is killing the street children in the slums of Accra and Detective Darko is on the case. Solving the crime is the main part of the story but I enjoyed even more the sights, sounds and people of this area. Already ordered his next one. An entertaining good read.
May 28, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a story about the hard life of street children in Accra, Ghana. Someone is brutally murdering them and leaving mysterious clues. It's up to Darko to figure it all out without revealing his own secret.
It seemed like a mediocre mystery to me, and Darko's dark side really turned me off. I was disappointed that this book didn't hold my attention as well as the first book in the series. Maybe I just don't like man's inhumanity to man, or children in this case.
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel
I read this and Wife of the Gods while I was traveling in Ghana. I always try to read a book set where I am traveling and am often disappointed with them. What an exception these two books were. I am not a big mystery fan but the mysteries were fun enough and there was enough culture and character peppering the pages to keep the stories interesting and fun to read. I might even keep going with the series.
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Literary Fiction ...: Discussion: Children of the Street 175 101 Jan 09, 2013 12:31PM  

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Kwei Quartey is a crime fiction writer and retired 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 sch

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)

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