The Coast of British East Africa, 1912
The British are tangled in an uneasy peace with the Sultan of Zanzibar. Much of the tangle concerns the slave trade. The British have outlawed it, but Arab law permits it, and to keep the uneasy peace, the Brits must turn a blind eye to some infractions of their rules.
This slippery morality infuriates Vera Tolliver, a Scottish missionary’s daughter and the bride of an English police officer whose job it is to enforce the law…after he figures out what it is. The murder of a runaway slave only increases the complications, especially because a long-time friend of Vera’s family is the likeliest suspect. And Vera and Tolliver discover that official fingers are knotted into the tangle’s every strand.
The Highlands of British East Africa, 1913
Justin Tolliver is on the brink of enormous change. The younger son of an English peer-with no money and no prospects, he had joined the police force with dreams of bringing His Majesty’s justice to a primative world. But, after two years, with his faith in British justice in tatters, Justin is opting instead for life as a farmer and a newly minted family-man.
It is his wife, Vera, who has helped him put aside images of darkness and to see Africa as all but lit from within. Even as Justin is embracing Africa, Vera’s faith in the land is being tested, as she is brought face to face with terrible brutalities and her own naiveté. There are murders, yes, and Justin and Vera will take a hand in solving them. When the crimes are solved, Justin and Vera will eventually have to reckon with unexpected levels of injustice.
Faced with the violent death of his own father, Assistant Superintendent David ‘Kubu’ Bengu, the smartest detective in the Botswana police, is baffled. Who would kill such a frail old man? Kubu’s frustration grows as his boss, Director Mabaku, bans him from being involved in the investigation. The picture becomes even murkier with the apparent suicide of a government official. Are Chinese mine-owners involved? And what role does the US Embassy have to play?
Set amidst the dark beauty of modern Botswana, A Death in the Family is a thrilling insight into a world of riots, corruption, and greed, as a complex series of murders presents the opera-loving detective with his most challenging case yet. When grief-stricken Kubu defies orders and sets out on the killers’ trail, startling and chilling links emerge, spanning the globe and setting a sequence of shocking events in motion. Will Kubu catch the killers in time?