Sunday, July 10, 2022

Four top crime novels set in Africa

Femi Kayode has spent the last two decades in advertising. In fits and starts. In between, he was a Packard Gates Fellow in Film at the University of Southern California and a Gates Fellow in International Health at the University of Washington. He also managed to build an impressive resume on prime-time television by creating, writing and developing several award-winning TV dramas.

He recently completed an MA in Crime Fiction at the University of East Anglia, where his novel Lightseekers won the Little, Brown / UEA Crime Fiction Award.

Lightseekers is his first novel and the beginning of a series of books based on the investigations of Dr Philip K. Talwo. He lives in Namibia with his wife, two sons and two overly friendly dogs.

At the Waterstones blog Kayode tagged four of the best crime novels set in Africa, including:
The Missing American by Kwei Quartey (Ghana)

This is the first in the Emma Djan series by acclaimed crime author, Kwei Quartey. Emma’s life is upended when she takes on a missing person’s case after being disgraced out of the police force. She is charged by the son of an American to find his father who had come to Accra to meet the love of his life, who he met on the internet. Stories built around internet scams targeting apparently na├»ve westerners generally make my eyes roll. But in The Missing American, Quartey delivers a nuanced story about Ghana, with colorful characters that take us through a maze of secrets, fetish priests and rampant corruption. Lush with vivid descriptions of Accra that will make you call your travel agent in a beat, The Missing American is a tense and riveting crime story that delivers on every level. Superb writing, a disillusioned female detective, a fish out of water client, and a city that refuses to yield its secrets. What’s there not to love?
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue