Goodluck Tinubu supposedly died 29 years earlier in the Rhodesian Civil War, so why is he lying dead and mutilated in a tent at an outback camp in Botswana's northern countryside in 2009? It's up to robust and rotund Police Detective David Bengu, nicknamed "Kubu"--Setswana for hippopotamus--to find out. Aiding him in the investigation is Detective Sergeant Mooka, nicknamed "Tatwa" (giraffe) because of his height.
Tinubu is slain at the small Jackalberry Camp, where tourists come to watch birds, wildlife and fauna, and a second victim--a South African also staying at the camp--is soon discovered, bludgeoned to death and rolled down a hillside. It is quickly learned that Tinubu has lived as a respected teacher and headmaster at a private school for many years. Moreover, it appears the two victims may have been acquainted. An empty suitcase found in Tinubu's tent also poses a puzzle as the detectives delve deeper into the background of the tourists, employees and camp operators. Despite its picturesque location, the camp is struggling to survive in competition with 5-star hotels whose owners have discovered the exotic lure of the African country. Two more murders increase the pressure to solve the crimes, with suspected motives ranging from drug running, smuggling, revenge and politics. A touch of humor peppers the investigative process, too. The two South African authors, Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip, combining their talents as Michael Stanley, are adept at depicting the beauty of the African countryside and the dark underside that haunts the land. They also thoughtfully provide maps and a glossary of terms and pronunciations to aid the reader.