I would of course, as every #BlogTour like to thank the team at Orenda Books, Anne Cater and the author for gifting me an early copy of DYING TO LIVE. I am forever grateful and and promise that the review below is 100% honest and of my own views.
To kick off, we have the “blurb” for the book;
When the body of a Bushman is discovered near the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the death is written off as an accident. But all is not as it seems. An autopsy reveals that, although he’s clearly very old, his internal organs are puzzlingly young. What’s more, an old bullet is lodged in one of his muscles… but where is the entry wound?
When the body is stolen from the morgue and a local witch doctor is reported missing, Detective ‘Kubu’ Bengu gets involved. But did the witch doctor take the body to use as part of a ritual? Or was it the American anthropologist who’d befriended the old Bushman? As Kubu and his brilliant young colleague, Detective Samantha Khama, follow the twisting trail through a confusion of rhino-horn smugglers, foreign gangsters and drugs manufacturers, the wider and more dangerous the case seems to grow.
A fresh, new slice of ‘Sunshine Noir’, Dying to Live is a classic tale of greed, corruption and ruthless thuggery, set in one of the world’s most beautiful landscapes, and featuring one of crime fiction’s most endearing and humane heroes.
So, you want to know what I think?
The first thing I liked about this book is that it’s classed as ‘Sunshine Noir’ which is so refreshing! Forget your Nordic, Tartan, American and even ‘Tart’ Noir – I have a feeling that ‘Sunshine Noir’ is where the trend will lead. I read my fair share of Nordic Noir where the atmosphere is dark, grim, miserable and cold. DYING TO LIVE is the complete contrast. For starters, the story is set in South of Africa where there is desert for miles, the sun shines hot and witch doctors are as popular as ever.
I love reading novels where it features history of a place and the people, for DYING TO LIVE, featuring witch doctors, Bushmen and ‘muti’ were just some of the points that kept me rapidly turning the pages, wanting to immerse myself further into the culture.
Not knowing much of African culture, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But what the writers have been able to do is pull us as the reader into a world of culture that not too many people hear about. For me, it was the practice of witch doctors, where patients believe their concoctions can help them with an array of medical conditions.
It is this culture that we delve into within this novel – as we discover what happened to the mysterious Bushman who was found in the desert. We are introduced to characters who either believe the traditions held, or are sceptical. The writing never sways to hold a certain opinion – a credit to them as it made for a great read!
Don’t let the fact that this is book 6 in a series put you off, this truly passed the test of whether this story could be enjoyed as a standalone!
About MICHAEL STANLEY;
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. 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.
DYING TO LIVE is out on July 12th and can be purchased at the following outlets;
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