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Thursday 30 May 2013

‘The Honey Guide’ by Richard Crompton

Published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 
14 February 2013. 
ISBN: 978-0-297-86796-8

A classic detective is created in this book - a loner with serious problems in a corrupt system. He tries to act in the way that he feels is right though accepting that his methods are flawed. He has a young assistant to whom he can expound his ideas. He struggles against his own limitations, his haunting memories and the desire of his superiors that he does not cause any upset in a dangerous political situation. The setting is profoundly different from that of the modern classic detective like Ian Rankins creation, Rebus; here we are in Kenya at the time of the election of December 2007. The policeman is Mollel, a former Masai warrior. with a powerful back story, now working in a subordinate role in the Nairobi police force.

There is a serious crime - the murder and mutilation of a young Masai woman while events are boiling up towards the election with allegations of fraudulent intentions by the government. Mollel s travels around the city in pursuit of his investigation reveal so many features of the Kenyan society with its tribal divisions. Richard Crompton is a British journalist with a deep knowledge of Kenya. This is a good crime novel with its solid background, good characterisations, and intriguing puzzle.
It is described as the first Mollel mystery so we can hope to see our clever, tenacious and classically flawed hero again.
Reviewer: Jennifer Palmer
As mentioned above this is a first detective story with the promise of more to follow.

Richard Crompton lives in Nairobi, Kenya, with his wife and their three young children. A former BBC journalist, Crompton left London several years ago when his wife, a human rights lawyer, was offered a job in Rwanda helping to prosecute the perpetrators of genocide.

Jennifer Palmer.  Throughout my reading life crime fiction has been a constant interest; I really enjoyed my 15 years as an expatriate in the Far East, the Netherlands & the USA but occasionally the solace of closing my door to the outside world and sitting reading was highly therapeutic.
I now lecture to adults on historical topics including Famous Historical Mysteries.

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