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Deadly Harvest

Published Date: 2nd November 2015

Available in

$0

EBook
9781910633434
£5.99
October 2015
Paperback
9781910633441
£8.99
May 2016

Description

A young girl goes missing after getting into a car with a mysterious man. Soon after, a second girl disappears, and her devastated father, Witness, sets out to seek revenge. As the trail goes cold, Samantha Khama – new recruit to the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department – suspects the girl was killed for muti, the traditional African medicine usually derived from plants, sometimes animals, and, recently and most chillingly, human parts. When the investigation gets personal, Samantha enlists opera-loving wine connoisseur Assistant Superintendent David ‘Kubu’ Bengu to help her dig into the past. As they begin to discover a pattern to the disappearances, there is another victim, and Kubu and Samantha are thrust into a harrowing race to stop a serial killer who has only one thing in mind …

Finalist for the International Thriller Writers Award

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A wonderful, original voice – McCall Smith with a dark edge and even darker underbelly’ Peter James

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‘Under the African sun, Michael Stanley’s Detective Kubu investigates crimes as dark as the darkest of Nordic Noir. Call it Sunshine Noir, if you will – a must read’ Yrsa Sigurðardóttir

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‘Richly atmospheric … a gritty depiction of corruption and deception’ Publishers Weekly

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‘This book took me to a world I didn’t want to leave. It kept me reading, it kept me guessing, and it kept me gasping at its many twists and surprises. Highly recommended’ R.L. Kline

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 ‘Detective David “Kubu” Bengu is a wonderful creation, complex and beguiling. The exotic smells and sounds of Botswana fill the pages as well as the changes and struggles of a country brimming with modern technology yet fiercely clinging to old traditions. Compelling and deceptively written …’ New York Journal of Books

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‘One of the finest crime thrillers of 2013’ Strand Mystery Magazine

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‘Read Deadly Harvest for the fascinating and scary mystery of the witch-doctor with the baboon-head mask, but remember Deadly Harvest for the examination of life in a distant location that is not as fortunate as our own’

 Bolo Books

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‘This popular whodunit series created by the South African writing team of Stanley Trollip and Michael Sears shares its Botswana backdrop with McCall Smith’s Mma Ramotswe mysteries, though the similarities between the two largely end there. These darker, grittier entries featuring the portly and perceptive Detective Kubu blend intricate plotting and a compelling cast … Though the cat-and-mouse chase that ensues propels the novel ever forward, Stanley also peppers the tale with richly detailed descriptions of Botswana and the lively lives of its citizens’ Booklist

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‘Tight plotting is seasoned with African culture and the uglier presence of political corruption, AIDS, and black magic. Detective Kubu is joined by Detective Samantha Khama, who helps unravel a mystery involving a witch doctor who is believable and utterly menacing’ Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine

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‘… a fascinating police procedural … the most complex book in this series. Besides being an intricate crime puzzle that Kubu and his team must untangle, it also looks at societal issues’ St Paul Pioneer Press

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Best Books of 2015, Times Crime Club, chosen by Yrsa Sigurðardótti

DEADLY HARVEST IS BOOK OF THE WEEK at Crime Thriller Hound!

Author

Michael Stanley is the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Both were born in South Africa and have worked in academia and business. Stanley was an educational psychologist, specialising in the application of computers to teaching and learning, and is a pilot. Michael specialises in image processing and remote sensing, and teaches at the University of the Witwatersrand. On a flying trip to Botswana, they watched a pack of hyenas hunt, kill, and devour a wildebeest, eating both flesh and bones. That gave them the premise for their first mystery, A Carrion Death, which introduced Detective ‘Kubu’ Bengu of the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department. It was a finalist for five awards, including the CWA Debut Dagger. The series has been critically acclaimed, and their third book, Death of the Mantis, won the Barry Award and was a finalist for an Edgar award. Deadly Harvest was a finalist for an International Thriller Writers’ award. The fifth in the Detective Kubu series, A Death in the Family, is also published by Orenda Books. Dying To Live, the next in the series, will be out in 2017.

Online Reviews

Deadly Harvest was a fascinating read. Not only does it bring the problems and issues facing Southern Africa to the fore, but it very skilfully combines many different characters and subplots into a convincing whole. … There is some great interplay between Kubu and his new female detective Khama, who turns out to be an extremely skillful and tenacious detective. … This is the best book in the series so far, and I can’t wait for the next instalment’ Eurocrime

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‘… well-written and full of twists and turns which worked perfectly without feeling shoehorned or pasted together. The characters are all really well formed and I really loved Kubu, he felt very real and you felt his emotions with him. His relationship with his family and his mother is portrayed beautifully as well and it was nice to see a strong family that loved each other and got on with each other, Seeing a detective with a wife and family that was together was really good to see for a change…’ Life of an Irish Mum

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‘Is an angry Kubu as readable as a funny Kubu? Most definitely! If you love Alexander McCall Smith’s The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency books, are you going to like Michael Stanley’s Detective Kubu? Chances are very good that you will. To be honest, I prefer Kubu to Precious Ramotswe– there’s a bit less charm and more bite to the stories of Michael Stanley. You can step in just about anywhere in these books, but Kubu’s life isn’t an unchanging one. Start at the beginning with A Carrion Death so you won’t miss one little bit of my favorite– and the best– detective in Botswana. The entire series is excellent’ Kittling Books

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‘The storyline dealing with muti was fascinating. Whilst I had heard of the traditional medicines of witch doctors I had little knowledge of this area. The basis of the witch doctors, both those who dealt with traditional herbal medicines and those who dabbled in the darker aspects of the trade was a major theme of the story. It was extremely interesting to find out more about this little known aspect of African culture’ From First Page to Last

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‘Witch Doctors and the muti is the main theme and how it is regarded by the people who feature in the novel. Even the ones who insist that they don’t believe still understandably fear it. Certain parts of it had me feel more than a little spooked, especially when there are unexplained noises around certain people’ Steph’s Book Blog

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‘Its location will be familiar to readers of Alexander McCall Smith’s bestselling series The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency featuring the irrepressible Ma Ramotswe. But Deadly Harvest has a much darker and grittier feel that already has it being cast as “sunshine noir”’ Claire Thinking

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‘I thought Deadly Harvest was magnificent, I just wanted to keep reading – I had to know how the story was going to play out.  I know nothing of Botswana yet the authors made the country seem so real and vibrant. I look forward to meeting with Detective Kubu again in the future – a high bar has been set’ Grab This Book

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‘An absolutely exceptional book, Deadly Harvest is a thrilling, captivating and I cannot recommend it highly enough!’ Bibliophile Book Club

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Guest blog by Michael Stanley at Shots Magazine

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‘This is a fantastic novel; a sumptuous narrative filled with twists, turns and a rich tapestry of Botswana culture and landscape. Not necessarily for the faint-hearted, but a truly enjoyable read. Another Orenda Books success, I have no doubt’ Segnalibro

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‘At no point in my reading did I ever feel as if two people were writing this, the narrative was smooth and fast-paced without fault. All I know is that I enjoyed every single moment of Deadly Harvest and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s pacy, exciting, a bit uncomfortable in places but full of surprises. You definitely need to read this book. I’d be lying if I said it was just an OK read – it was bloody brilliant!’ This Crime Book

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‘I mentioned it last time, but I’ll mention it again this time, but you would never know that there are two authors writing these books. The whole thing is so well written and it flows beautifully. There aren’t sections that you can tell that are written by one person or the other which is what I’ve found when reading other books by more than one author.The story itself is wonderfully crafted and is full of the twists and turns that I now expect from a Michael Stanley book. I don’t want to say too much about the contents of the story as I don’t want to spoil anything for people, but it is a lot darker than A Death In The Family and I really liked that’ Live of a Nerdish Mum

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‘The book is beautifully written and gripping from the first page until the last, with a few surprises along the way. Who is kidnapping young girls by enticing them into their car? Why has no one seen these girls again? This is a modern mystery, yet feels timeless, as the detectives search for clues’ Off-the-Shelf Books

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Great guest post on collaborative writing at Linda’s Book Bag

Excellent guest post on Crime Thriller Girl ‘An interview with Detective Kubu himself!!

Extract of Deadly Harvest at Damp Pebbles

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‘There’s evil at the bottom of these crimes. Perhaps even a masterful Witch Doctor with powers of invisibility! The violence is not gratuitous in its description. Grisly, yes, but the tone never crosses into the horror genre. Written by a team of two, whose knowledge of Southern Africa comes across well, this story feels authentic and grips like glue’ Crime Thriller Hound

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‘A well paced mystery that circles around as the clues come together, the darkness of illicit practices unfurls like  the smoke from a witch’s cauldron. There is more than a nod to Macbeth in the book, set against a rich Botswana background’ Trip Fiction

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Q&A with Michael Stanley at Trip Fiction

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‘The setting for a start was so beautifully described you could almost taste the air – I know nothing relatively speaking about Botswana, Deadly Harvest was a bit of an education for me in that respect and the authors here manage to convey that sense of place with some wonderfully descriptive prose that digs deep. The characters lived out loud, were full of depth and entirely fascinating, loved Kubu and Samantha and how they came together to investigate some very dark deeds. The very real and very disturbing theme of Witch Doctors and Muti takes centre stage here – in places horrifying the novel has such an authentic sense about it that you are given much pause for thought – a difficult line between entertainment and realism is walked to perfection by these two writers, I was totally immersed into this world throughout the read … a very different kind of crime read, intense and intelligent with huge amounts of heart. Loved it’ Liz Loves Books

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Guest post at Never Imitate: Writing across cultures

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‘The case unfolds at a leisurely pace and we’re left wondering who is doing the abducting and what their ultimate motive is. Along the way we meet a lot of fascinating characters, chief amongst them David ‘Kubu’ Bengu himself. I loved that he was a normal family man with a solid family life – so often in crime fiction you find someone with deep dark secrets or issues they’re wrestling with. With Kubu his only vice seems to be his addiction to sneaking cookies at every available opportunity!’ Espresso Coco

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‘Deadly Harvest is my introduction to The Detective Kubu series, set in Botswana. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the rest and devouring them. Detective Kubu is wonderful and it’s eye opening discovering a rich African culture! The writing team of Michael Stanley (Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip) are at their fourth adventure for Assistant Superintendent David Benga, known as Kubu’ Northern Crime

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‘The writing is a wonderful mix of colourful imagery and brooding undercurrents. Kubu provides humour but also a depth of character with the obvious pleasure he takes in his family, his concerns for his aging parents, his immense love of food, and the intuition he brings to the case … darkly entertaining and compelling work of crime fiction. A fine addition to the Orenda stable of books’ Never Imitate

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Great booktrail post on Deadly Harvest ‘Where Michael Stanley takes me to jail’ The Booktrail

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‘That darkness runs through Deadly Harvest like a potent undercurrent. Botswana is a modern country yet here amongst those living their daily lives are many who are still in thrall to Witch Doctors, the old ways and superstition – serving as a shackle as the country tries to progress and issuing a genuine, palpable threat to so many. Without repeating myself, it’s hard to conceive of such a world from the sheltered seat of the reader yet Deadly Harvest does a great job of bringing that terror, that monster in the dark, to life. Make sure your door is locked before reading this one at night …The writers have a clear gift both for story-telling and hooking a reader – I was asking myself throughout as to just how the killer had lured the girls into his car so easily and the final reveal left me going back through wondering how I’d missed those clues that Kubu had put together. A genuinely intriguing and rewarding read’ Mumbling about Music

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Guest post Portobello Book Blog

Interview with Michael Stanley on Crime Fiction Lover (and review)

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‘….The plot is gripping, distressing and totally absorbing. This is an incredible book that I found it hard to switch off from, so much so that I had to wait a couple of days before reading the next book I was sent by Breakaway Reviewers so that I could fully concentrate on it! Deadly Harvest is a grisly story, rich in detail which is written by a team of two whose knowledge of Southern Africa comes through vividly throughout the book. In summary, I simply loved the characters, the setting and the description of the real arduous, methodical detective work undertaken by Kubu, helped this time by a quirky female detective who wants a quick win – the differences between their two methods is fascinating to read about. I recommend this book to anyone that likes a great mystery, particularly one set away from the usual US or UK location.’ Breakaway Reviewers

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‘The story was well paced and kept my attention from start to finish.  There are red herrings along the way to keep you guessing.  It was only as I moved towards the closing chapters did it dawn on me who the killer was.  I enjoyed the subplot, with the father of one of the missing girls spiraling into madness and casting the blame at another door.  The story had an eeriness about it which I found truly fascinating.  That suspense coupled with my own macabre interest drove me on to read ‘just one more chapter, just one more and then I’ll stop … Creepy, spinetingling and oh so good’ Damp Pebbles

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‘Deadly Harvest is exactly the type of crime fiction that I adore, combining an understanding of the cultures and beliefs of a country, all topped off with a little political intrigue to convey the sentiment of the area. Intelligent and enriching, this series promises to be an original and engaging one and I am very keen to read more! The writing team of Michael Stanley deserve to be applauded for their impartial discussion of the topic of witch doctors, all with a decidedly dark tone and a central character of genuine originality. Deadly Harvest is crime fiction which both educates and opens eyes and immerses readers fully in the African culture!’ Goodreads

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‘Deadly Harvest is a fantastic read, with a tense original story that draws you in and holds you enthralled from the first to the last page. There is something very ordinary about this police procedural that had me drawing similarities to it and an episode of Midsommer Murders … What makes this book such an appealing and a wonderful read is the originality.’ The Library Door

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‘The narrative primarily stays with them, moving elsewhere infrequently to give information about the victims or their persecutors. The story progresses briskly enough to maintain reader interest, and the two law officers are positive and resourceful enough to avoid frustrating pauses in progress. At the same time, the authors give sufficient detail about the behaviour of their targets to generate excitement about whether police efforts will be successful. The story is well paced, and culminates in a satisfying climax.’ Crime Review

Reviews