By Kwei Quartey
Kwei Quartey grew up in Ghana and left when he was seventeen. He now lives in California; however, the story is set in Ghana.
This is the first book in what promises to be an interesting mystery series. Quartey's detective, Inspector Darko Dawson is a man with a number of failings--he enjoys smoking marijuana and has a intense temper that often results in his being too physical. But he's also a man who loves his family and has a penchant for seeing beyond the obvious.
Because he speaks the native dialect he is sent to the small town of Ketanu where he is to investigate the death of a medical student. This is not an unfamiliar place for Darko. As a young boy he visited his aunt and uncle in Ketanu. And over twenty years ago his mother had gone to visit his aunt and uncle and disappeared on her way home.
The local police chief perceives the city detective as an intrusive presence. He arrests someone Darko believes is innocent.
There are local customs and beliefs that attribute events and sicknesses to spirits. One such custom is the offering of young girls to fetish priests as an atonement for family sins. They are the Wives of the Gods. Dawson's revulsion with this practice sets up a confrontation with the fetish priest.
The authenticity of the setting, and the lilting musicality of the writing simply add to the enjoyment.