The Missing American

Soho Crime. [Emma Djan, Bk. 1] Jan. 2020. 432p. ISBN 9781641290708. $27.95. M
In Accra, Ghana’s capitol, Emma Djan has wanted to be a homicide detective since she was a small child visiting her father at his police station. Upon entering the police force, she gets stuck in a tedious and unimportant department with no hopes of promotion. She ends up leaving in disgrace to find a more exciting position in a private detective agency. Her first case is steeped in political intrigue—locate Gordon Tilson, a missing American man who was investigating internet scams being run by groups known as sakwa boys. Emma must untangle the web of sex, lies, and deceit in the political and police systems in order to find the missing American. Quartey’s writing is visceral, with lush descriptions of the scenes as well as his (large) cast of characters.
VERDICT This promising series debut from the acclaimed Quartey (“Darko Dawson” mysteries) introduces the formidable Emma, and most important, the culture and politics of Ghana. Recommended for readers of mystery, African American and African fiction, and international crime/mystery. [See Prepub Alert, 7/8/19.]
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