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Children of the street : a novel
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Booklist Reviews

Inspector Darko Dawson's second investigation (after Wife of the Gods, 2009) centers on the mean streets of Accra, Ghana, where a street child is found brutally murdered and dumped in a bog. When a second child's body is found, Dawson is convinced he's chasing a serial killer, but the deaths of unwanted street children don't command much interest, especially after an oil executive is murdered. Helped only by his assistant, Chikata, and his driver, Baiboo, Dawson digs into the brutal lot of the thousands of children who live, eat, and work in Accra's streets. Like Detective Kubu in Michael Stanley's series set in Botswana, Dawson has a stable home life, though in Dawson's case, his beloved son has a heart condition requiring surgery he can't afford. Dawson's centered demeanor and relatively happy home life make a stark contrast with the filth and squalor of the streets he works. A must-read for anyone who follows African crime fiction. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

Library Journal Reviews

DI Dawson (Wife of the Gods) has been assigned a homicide case in which the victim is determined to be a teen boy who had been working and living on the busy streets of Accra, Ghana. The body has been mutilated in a very specific way and left to decompose in a particularly unclean location. When a second street child is found dead in a similar manner, and then a third, Dawson pulls in as many experts and as many favors as possible to put him one step ahead of the killer. There's a message being sent; can Dawson decipher it in time? With so many elements of African life to explain to the Western reader, this story could have easily become a confused mess of plot vs. background detail. Instead, the author manages to share details of the harsh conditions of street life in a city that is a difficult mix of traditional ways and modern conveniences. VERDICT Darko Dawson, with his secret struggle to stop smoking marijuana and his son's chronic illness, is one of the most engaging characters this reader has ever encountered. The police work, the unexpected reveal of the murderer and the motivation for the killings, and the clever interactions among characters of widely different professions and social classes will completely satisfy readers who enjoyed the first book and intrigue newcomers. [Academic and library marketing; Thrillerfest promotion.]—Stacey Hayman, Rocky River P.L., OH

[Page 66]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Quartey convincingly portrays the seedy underbelly of Accra, Ghana's capital city, in his second novel starring Det. Insp. Darko Dawson (after Wife of the Gods). The well-rounded Dawson, a homicide investigator, struggles with his taste for marijuana as well as the politics of his job. To compound his problems, his beloved seven-year-old son, Hosiah, is in desperate need of surgery, to repair a hole in his heart, that Dawson can't afford. Notwithstanding all these pressures, Dawson plunges into the search for a serial killer targeting young street children, who are stabbed and mutilated in accordance with some savage ritual. He consults the country's leading expert on ritual murder, a man with secrets of his own to conceal. Quartey cleverly hides the culprit, but the whodunit's strength is as much in the depiction of a world largely unfamiliar to an American readership as in its playing fair. (July)

[Page ]. Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC

Author Biography

Kwei Quartey was raised in Ghana by an African American mother and a Ghanaian father, both of whom were university lecturers. Dr. Quartey practices medicine in Southern California, rising early in the morning to write before going to work. - (Random House, Inc.)


A follow-up to Wife of the Gods finds Inspector Darko Dawson investigating a string of murders targeting the street teens of Ghana in a case that takes him through the city's underground, where he is forced to come to terms with the brutal world of the urban poor. Original. 15,000 first printing. - (Baker & Taylor)

A follow-up to "Wife of the Gods" finds Inspector Darko Dawson investigating a string of murders targeting the street teens of Ghana in a case that takes him through the city's underground, where he is forced to come to terms with the brutal world of theurban poor. - (Baker & Taylor)

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 running out, Dawson embarks on a harrowing journey through the city’s underbelly and confronts the brutal world of the urban poor, where street children are forced to fight for their very survival—and a cunning killer seems just out of reach. - (Random House, Inc.)

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