Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Review: Children of the Street by Kwei Quartey

Author: Kwei Quartey
Publisher Format: Random House Trade Paperbacks (2011),e-galley 352 pages
Subject: street crime
Setting: Accra Ghana
Series: Inspector Darko Dawson mysteries
Genre: mystery- police procedural
Source: Publisher via Net Galley

The publisher tells us: 
In the slums of Accra, Ghana’s fast-moving, cosmopolitan capital, teenagers are turning up dead. Inspector Darko Dawson has seen many crimes, but this latest string of murders—in which all the young victims bear a chilling signature—is the most unsettling of his career. Are these heinous acts a form of ritual killing or the work of a lone, cold-blooded monster? With time running out, Dawson embarks on a harrowing journey through the city’s underbelly and confronts the brutal world of the urban poor, where street children are forced to fight for their very survival—and a cunning killer seems just out of reach.
My reaction:
I've been a fan of Darko Dawson since Quartey published his first book "Wife of the Gods" in 2009, so I was excited to be able to get an early review copy from Net Galley of the next in the series.  I was not disappointed.  Quartey has given us an even more developed character and an excellent plot.  The misery and poverty endured by these children is quite perceptively portrayed and the reader has no difficulty imagining the smells, the noise, the agony of hunger and the terror of facing death at every turn that Quartey shows us as he has Dawson tracking the killer(s?) of this group of murders.

By giving us a portrait of Darko the happily married man with a son who has definite and life threatening medical problems, a wife who is independent and educated and thoroughly devoted to her husband, and a mother-in-law whom he barely tolerates, we definitely feel that we know this man, that we want him to succeed, and we can excuse his occasional lapses in judgment or behavior.

Darko is human, lovable, irrascible at times, and definitely a good cop.  Quartey is a good writer who looks to improve with each volume. I'm looking forward to more of these adventures.

About the Author: Kwei Quartey was raised in Ghana by an African American mother and a Ghanaian father, both of whom were university lecturers. Dr. Kwei Quartey practices medicine in Southern California, rising early in the morning to write before going to work. He is currently writing his next novel.


  1. I so appreciate your reviews! this book won't be going on my list; not quite my cup of tea. But I would not have known without your review. So I add and omit, based on your words!

  2. Darko sounds like a great character! I would read the book for that alone...but the rest of it sounds excellent too!


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