blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: A Deadly Covenant – Michael Stanley

While building a pipeline near the Okavango Delta, a contractor unearths the remains of a long-dead Bushman. Rookie Detective David ‘Kubu’ Bengu of Botswana CID and Scottish pathologist, Ian MacGregor, are sent to investigate, and MacGregor discovers the skeletons of eight more men.

Shortly after the gruesome discoveries, the elder of a nearby village is murdered in his home. The local police are convinced it was a robbery, but Kubu isn’t so sure … and neither is the strange woman who claims that an angry river spirit caused the elder’s death.

As accusations of corruption are levelled and international outrage builds over the massacre of the Bushman families, Kubu and his colleagues uncover a deadly covenant, and begin to fear that their own lives may be in mortal danger…

Michael Stanley is the writing team of South African authors Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. 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 CID. It was a finalist for five awards, including the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger. The third in the series, Death of the Mantis, won the Barry Award for Best Paperback Original mystery and was a finalist for an Edgar award. Deadly Harvest was a finalist for an International Thriller Writers’ award. A Death in the Family and Dying to Live are the latest in the Detective Kubu series, published by Orenda Books. A prequel to the Detective Kubu series, Facets of Death, was published in 2021 and A Deadly Covenant follows Kubu’s second case.

My thoughts: Detective Kubu returns in a case of murder, secrets and promises. Sent out to a remote village to investigate human remains found while digging for new water pipes, Kubu encounters people who won’t speak up, closing ranks against the outsiders. As more bones are found and pathologist Dr McGregor thinks they’re the massacred remains of a group of Bushmen, discriminated against widely, and some may be children, Kubu becomes more determined to find the truth. Then new murders occur.

As Assistant Commissioner Mabuku comes out to help with this new spate of crime, the local police think it’s a newcomer – a Bushman who says he’s come at the behest of his ancestors, because of the bodies they’ve found.

Digging into local history, rumours and friendships, the team find a terrible pact made between a group of friends years before. Could this hold the answers?

Gripping, trawling through the worst things humans can do, but with a lightness of touch, finding moments of humour, and with such intriguing characters. I loved the last Kubu I read and this was also very good. Enjoyable and thought provoking.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Sorry It’s A Girl – A.A. Khan*

Lahore, 2018: In a city teeming with gossip and rumours, where the spoken word is as sharp as a whip, five women lead extraordinary lives.

Born into wealth and opulence, Maya and Arzoo are best friends, achieving everything that is expected of them, from top grades to entry into the exclusive Ivy League schools. Gliding through Lahore’s glittering soirees, Ariyana is the picture of perfection. Charming Laila is married to a business tycoon, living a life of luxury that others could only dream of. But life is rarely perfect…

In this world where image is everything and tradition prevails, these women struggle to negotiate friendships, family and society’s expectations. Beneath the designer clothes lie hidden scars and secrets that cannot be told. And in amongst it all, love blooms.

“People don’t know much about Pakistan and the 1%, and even more specifically the women from that society. Much like women all over the world, the characters in this book have universally experienced issues such as love, college, finding their identity and place as well as balancing tradition with more modern ideologies,” explains the author. “This story isn’t so much about how men treat women, but about how women treat one other.”

A.A Khan wrote Sorry it’s a Girl when she was pursuing her studies abroad and was thrown in to some unpredictable and life-changing challenges. The book became a breathing space for Khan, and a way to understand the complexities of her surroundings and her situation. The book in more ways than one helped Khan navigate the social fabric of society while carving out her own future.

Currently, Khan is a successful entrepreneur, business owner and family woman happily residing in Pakistan.

My thoughts:

This was a really interesting look at the extremely wealthy Pakistani 1%, with its ladies who lunch and plot their children’s entire lives out while showing off their designer clothes, bags and shoes, guzzling Diet Coke and trying not to eat much.

Their children, meanwhile, aim to control their own lives, and escape the backstabbing, gossipy world their parents inhabit. Heading off to internationally renowned universities in the hope of freeing themselves from their families’ plans and find themselves.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.