13 November 2014

Review #73: Murder at Cape Three Points by Kwei Quartey

My rating:
4 of 5 stars

Rick Riordan, the #1 New York Times bestselling author, has quoted about families in his book, The Sea of Monsters ;

“Families are messy. Immortal families are eternally messy. Sometimes the best we can do is to remind each other that we're related for better or for worse...and try to keep the maiming and killing to a minimum.”

Kwei Quartey, an American crime fiction writer and physician, has penned his third novel in the Darko Dawson series called, Murder at Cape Three Points , which is not only a mind-blowing story about messy families and instances of blood running deep but it also takes you to places which are exotic and less-traveled. Yes, this novel is set in Accra- the capital city of Ghana, Sekondi-Takoradi and Cape Three Points- a beautiful coastal town in Ghana and the author's vivid description of Ghana will completely transport you there and you can watch Darko investigating the most famous murder case of Ghana right in front of your eyes.

At Cape Three Points on the beautiful Ghanaian coast, a canoe wash up at an oil rig site. The two bodies in the canoe—who turn out to be a prominent, wealthy, middle-aged married couple—have obviously been murdered; the way Mr. Smith-Aidoo has been gruesomely decapitated suggests the killer was trying to send a specific message—but what, and to whom, is a mystery. The Smith-Aidoos, pillars in their community, are mourned by everyone, but especially by their niece Sapphire, a successful pediatric surgeon in Ghana's capital, Accra. She is not happy that months have passed since the murder and the rural police have made no headway. When the Ghanaian federal police finally agree to get involved, Detective Inspector Darko Dawson of the Accra police force is sent out to Cape Three Points to investigate. Pretty as the coast is, he is not happy to be sent away from his wife and two sons. And the more he learns about the case, the more convoluted and dangerous it becomes. Dawson roots out a host of motives for murder, ranging from personal vendettas to corporate conspiracies.

Being born in Accra makes it easy for Quartey to lay out a vivid and striking description of his hometown in his novel. But not everyone has the talent to bring out the picture of an exotic town so lively just with some meager words. Although this is the first book that I read of this author, still not even for a single second I felt I don't know this Darko guy. From the very beginning the author has given enough effort to make Darko and his habits and his attitude familiar to his readers. Hence mid-way through the story, I felt like I can understand Darko's thinking pattern and can see right through his mind. Darko is a pleasant guy, apart from being a capable detective, he's a family-man, who puts his family before his work, and that completely made me fall for him. It's not every day that we come across such a good nature detective. Well, I think I can go on and on about Darko's bravery, determination and good-will nature.

Now let me praise for the author a bit, because after all Darko is his creation. The plot- what can I say about it!?! It's not too bloody yet it involves a gruesome murder of two eminent personalities, still the book was very clean and easy to read and had a compelling plot. The twists were kept tightly around the loop and as I progressed further into the story, I felt I was sweating with anticipation. But when it came to climax, it was a let-down for me, since, I don't know, how I figured out who the real killer was, hence for me the climax was predictable. I was expecting it to be someone else. The flow of narration and the prose was completely matching with the grim mood set by the author in his plot. In a nutshell, I can say that this man writes with complete passion and joy since I could feel it while reading the book.
PS: I got to see Cape Three Points in Ghana with the author's eyes, and for a split moment, I could smell the salty breeze on my face.

Verdict: Do read this book and take a trip down to the less-traveled and one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and follow Darko in his trail while solving the most brutal murder case of Ghana.

Courtesy: I can't thank enough to the author, Kwei Quartey, for giving me such a beautiful opportunity to read his incredible book. 

Author Info:
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 Howard University in Washington, D.C. In 1990, he began practicing medicine in California with HealthCare Partners. Dr. Quartey later founded the facility's wound care center while working as an urgent care physician. As a crime fiction writer, Kwei Quartey made the Los Angeles Times Bestseller List in 2009. The following year, the G.O.G. National Book Club awarded him the title of Best Male Author. Having published Wife of the Gods and Children of the Street, he is anticipating the release of a third novel in the series, Murder at Cape Three Points, in March 2014. Death at the Voyager Hotel, a mystery e-novella not belonging to the series, was published August 2013. Dr. Quartey is also a member of the Los Angeles chapter of Sisters in Crime, a fiction writers’ organization.
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