Thursday, March 27, 2014


Kwei Quartey's Murder at Cape Three Points is a good police procedural.

Detective Inspector Darko Dawson investigates the brutal murder of a wealthy and powerful couple.

Someone decapitated a rich oil company executive, placed his head on a stick, killed his wife, put the bodies in a canoe, and let the currents take the canoe toward an oil rig.

The oil company is defacing the scenic coast of Ghana, but Darko finds other motives too.

Someone killed an oil executive in another prominent Ghanian oil company earlier. The police arrested a relative, but Darko and his assistant Chikata don't think he did it. There may have been inter-company reasons for the murders.

The wealthy decapitated man refused to help a relative save his dying child. His niece, a medical doctor, also refused to help.

Darko and Chikata (the favored nephew of Darko's superior officer) accuse the local police inspector of covering up what happened.

And the story goes from there.

The Darko Dawson stories are good straight-through police procedurals. In that regard, they remind me of my favorite police procedural stories, Ed McBain's 87th Precinct novels. Quartey has a lot more increasingly high quality books to write to become anything like Ed McBain, but Quartey's factual, straight-through style is a good start.

Quartey's stories deal with social issues, something I like.

Darko is more settled now. His son is recovering from surgery for his heart defect. Darko loves his wife and family including another adopted son. Darko still longs to resume his dependence on Marijuana, but he resists the temptation. And Darko is on the verge of reconciling with his estranged father.

As always, Darko Dawson's superior gives him the explosive case, the one no one else dares touch.

I like the Darko Dawson mysteries.  

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