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  • Location: Botswana

Dying to Live

Why a Booktrail?

2000s: Detective Kubu has to solve the case of a missing body, signs of a witch doctor and rhino- smugglers

  • ISBN: 978-1910633762
  • Genre: Crime

What you need to know before your trail

The body of a Bushman is discovered near the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, but the death is quickly written off as an accident.

However, an autopsy reveals that, although he’s clearly very old, his internal organs are puzzlingly young. What’s more, an old bullet is lodged in one of his muscles… but where is the entry wound?

When the body is stolen from the morgue and a local witch doctor is reported missing, Detective ‘Kubu’ Bengu gets involved. What could have happened to the body? Who would have wanted to steal a body? Could it be the witch doctor who wants to use as part of a ritual?

Kubu and his brilliant young colleague, Detective Samantha Khama, follow the twisting trail through a confusion of rhino-horn smugglers, foreign gangsters and drugs manufacturers, the wider and more dangerous the case seems to grow.

Travel Guide

Authors on location:

We’re very lucky to have a whole country as our location, and it’s a country we love. Botswana has wonderful wildlife areas, like the Chobe National Park where the idea for our first novel—A Carrion Death—was born, the incredible Okavango Delta, and the arid beauty of the Kalahari.

“Part of Dying to Live is set in the area of the Kalahari to which the Bushmen have been relocated from their ancestral hunting grounds. In particular, we visited a village called New Xade, which has to be one of the most depressing places we’ve seen. Yes, the Bushmen have some facilities they didn’t have before, such as a school and some basic infrastructure, but there’s nothing else. Nothing to do; no jobs; no tourists because it is away from any road a tourist would take. We had quite a different vision of the town based on pictures and articles written about it. So, after we’d visited it, we had to revise quite a bit of what we’d written about that part of the country.”

Trail Gallery

Booktrailer Review

Susan: @thebooktrailer
Some have called this Sunshine Noir and whilst the sun is definately in the air in Botswana, this book takes place in the shadows and shade. This is a fascinating yet quite a dark novel – there’s talk of witch doctors, potions and the fact that their practices are not restricted to Botswana or indeed the neighbouring countries.

I was really intrigued yet sad to read how the doctors got their ingredients for the potions and how and why they were used. Disgusted even – not at the novel but for the realisation that these practices were not made up by the authors!

It must have all got to Kubu as, I don’t know,he just didn’t seem his happy and witty self. Still on form with Samantha though – side kick extraordinaire.

There’s a real sense that the authors have as much involvement with their stories as they can. They research, write, immerse themselves in the country they love and it shows

Shake that Kalahari Dust off the pages and step inside the world of Kubu

Booktrail Boarding Pass:  Dying to Live

Destination: Botswana  Author/Guide: Michael Stanley  Departure Time: 2000s

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