Children of the Street
A Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey
Review: Detective Inspector Darko Dawson of the Ghana Police Service investigates a series of murders in which all the victims are teenagers, their bodies mutilated in some way, in Children of the Street, the second mystery in this series by Kwei Quartey.
Accra is the perfect place for murder. It is so dark and so quiet at night. Street people are sleeping everywhere. Who knows they are there, and who cares about them? Who will report anything? Everyone fears … the police. They say if you go to report something to the police, you are the one who will be arrested.
The children were all killed in the same manner — a long, sharp knife through the chest — but the bodies of each are uniquely disfigured in some other manner. Dawson believes that the solution to the crimes rests with determining how these disfigurements are connected, that they must be part of some bizarre ritual, but even the world's foremost authority on ritualistic killings in central Africa, a professor at a local university, can offer no assistance. Taking advantage of the services provided by a local charity, Street Children of Accra Refuge, Dawson begins to piece together a day in the life of a street child, and utilizing his limited resources to their maximum value, begins the search for a ruthless — a soulless — killer.
There's an underlying sweetness to Children of the Street that helps balance the horrific nature of the crimes being investigated. Darko Dawson isn't perfect — he is fighting an addiction to marijuana — but he is deeply in love with his wife and adores his little boy, who suffers from a congenital heart condition yet who has a most positive outlook on life. More importantly to the book, though, and the reader's enjoyment thereof, Dawson is passionate about being a policeman and working in Accra. The city and its environs are an integral part of the story, and — without giving away too much of how Dawson cleverly identifies the killer — so are its people, culture and beliefs. Children of the Street is much more than just a whodunit-style mystery — and to that end, it's a pretty good one at that — it is a dynamic portrait of a city that most readers of the book will likely never have an opportunity to visit.
Acknowledgment: the author provided an ARC of Children of the Street for this review.
Review Copyright © 2011 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Wife of the Gods
Random House (Hardcover), July 2009
ISBN-13: 9781400067596; ISBN-10: 1400067596
Murder at Cape Three Points
Soho Crime (Hardcover), March 2014
ISBN-13: 9781616953898; ISBN-10: 1616953896
Location(s) referenced in Children of the Street: Accra, Ghana
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Children of the Street by Kwei Quartey — A Darko Dawson Mystery
Publisher: Random House
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: July 2011
List Price: $15.00
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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