The Whitewashed Tombs

Soho Crime. (An Emma Djan Investigation, Bk. 4). Aug. 2024. 340p. ISBN 9781641295888. $27.95. M
Ghanaian American author Quartey’s fourth “An Emma Djan Investigation” novel (following Last Seen in Lapaz) is an impassioned plea for advocacy in LGBTQIA+ rights, specifically in the current political climate of Ghana. A vocal gay rights advocate is found viciously murdered, which sets off a series of violent hate crimes. Homophobia is rampant, and if a new anti-LGBTQIA+ law passes, things will get worse. The murdered man’s father requests the services of the Sowah Private Investigators Agency to find the killer, and Emma is assigned to the case. While conducting interviews with the man’s friends and coworkers, Emma finds the violence closer to home than she realizes. The stakes are high on both sides, as an American religious organization works closely with the International Congress of Families to pass the anti-LGBTQIA+ bill and terrorize the community through both the church and medical establishments. Someone has compiled a hit list of the bill’s opponents and is cutting their way through it; by going undercover with the ICF, Emma puts herself in the line of fire.
VERDICT Quartey’s author’s note discusses the current anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation in Ghana and its effect on him as a queer author. Recommended for readers who enjoy international fiction and detective fiction.
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