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Hour of the Red God: A Detective Mollel Novel

Richard Crompton.
Publisher Sarah Crichton Books  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.25 x 6.1 x 1 inches
ISBN 9780374171995
Pages/Publication Date 291/2013
Daedalus Item Code 54516
This item is not available.
A former BBC journalist now living in Nairobi, Richard Crompton here gives us a fascinating sleuth in Detective Mollel, a former Maasai warrior now working for the African megacity's police force. In 2007, on the eve of contentious elections, in a city where a small elite holds power over an impoverished, restless majority, few people would care about the death of a young prostitute. But Mollel does, particularly since the girl too was Maasai. The Maasai believe in two gods: Enkai Narok, the Black God, is benign. Enkai Nanyokie, the Red God, is the god of anger, vengeance, and death, and as Mollel ventures from slums to skyscrapers, from suburbs to sewers, he sees that there is more at stake than just this murder, even as he begins to doubt his warrior's instincts.

"A spectacular fiction debut ... [that] instantly elevates the author, now a Nairobi resident, to the first rank of African crime writers."Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Crompton's debut features a unique voice, an in-depth look at diverse Kenyan rites and political chicanery, and a hero who, one hopes, is just at the beginning of his fictional career."Kirkus Reviews

"A young Nairobi prostitute is found murdered, her body mutilated. The case falls to Detective Sergeant Mollel. The gaunt Mollel, seemingly an ascetic, was once a Maasai warrior, and his stretched earlobes brand his ethnicity in a city in which politics are literally tribal. Following leads and theories, Mollel and his partner, Kiunga, move almost ceaselessly through the city of 10 million and come to recognize that two of Nairobi's most important people may be implicated in the crime. But a heated national election that has stirred tribal rivalries threatens to set Nairobi aflame. Crompton, a former BBC journalist, lives in Nairobi, and the election he describes (2007) was a real one. His debut novel combines a sinuous plot, a wonderfully complex and tragic protagonist, and a remarkable portrait of a city that is simultaneously exotic yet familiar (e.g., a murder victim who might have suffered female circumcision, modern office towers surrounded by an ocean of corrugated metal shacks, and a megachurch minister who slickly televises his Sunday services). All fans of international crime fiction will want to follow Mollel through Nairobi's mean streets."Booklist

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