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Ratings and Book Reviews (2 4 star ratings
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    Deadly Harvest

    A gripping who-done-it set in Botswana where Senior Detective Kubu and his team hunt down a Witch Doctor who has kidnapped young girls - and an Albino - for body parts to be used in"muti" - medicine - which is purchased by unscrupulous officials to, as they believe, magically, inrease their power and ensure their success. It is a complex and exciting plot, with many unexpectef twists and turns -and all the more so because of the fact that this type of human trafficing is still to be found in many African countries today. Strongly recommeded for the thrilling story and for the honest depiction of a horrific trade in human body parts.
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    Brilliant!

    Having read the third in the intelligent Detective Kubu series written by Michael Stanley and absolutely loving it, I couldn't wait to read book four "Deadly Harvest" - this time published by Orenda books. I wasn't disappointed, if anything my interest in this series has gone up even higher, such was the well thought out gritty subject of witchcraft, political corruption and man's obsession with power. I'm learning a lot about Botswana and South African cultures throughout this series and it is very interesting to learn about a country I don't often read about in fiction. Assistant Superintendent David Bengu nicknamed 'Kubu' (which translates as hippopotamus) is such a likeable character, very personable and dedicated to his job. He doesn't always do things by the book which makes him all the more enjoyable to read and often thinks more about where his next meal is coming from due to his insatiable appetite. So funny to read about him eating a KFC whilst on a stake out and munching cookies hidden in his office. "Deadly Harvest" is set on a background of reality - the dark side of witch doctors and black magic, specifically the few powerful ones who use human body parts in their 'muti' (herbal potions), unlike the genuine traditional healers who use only herbs and at most animal parts in theirs. Sadly, sadistic murders do occur in South African black magic in order for certain body parts to be used and it really is a terrible business, something I never realised still happened. There's an ancient superstition that the true believers are cursed by witch doctors if they don't do as they are told and it must be truly scary to live like that, in fear of magic they cannot see. One of the girls mentioned in the story (Segametsi Mogomotsi) was actually killed for multi in real life and once I had learned this I was very saddened, it truly brought home the horrific ordeal these victims must have gone through for these powerful potions to be made. Michael Stanley is the writing partnership of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip and it really does work, combining their travels through South Africa and their joint love for Botswana into fabulous and entertaining crime books. It's become an absolute pleasure to read this series and it was a joy to devote my recent weekend to Kubu and this compelling book. A police procedural like no other, this addictive and colourful story will have you turning pages faster than you can read, I highly recommend this brilliantly written series and will be starting the fifth in the series "Death in the Family" very soon. Another well deserved 5 stars.
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