Murder at Cape Three Points (Darko Dawson)
by Kwei Quartey
Cover Artist: Katherine Grames
Review by Verna Suit
Soho Crime Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781616953898
Date: 18 March 2014 List Price $26.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Detective Inspector Darko Dawson of Ghana's CID HQ is sent to the center of Ghana's offshore oil industry to look into the brutal murder of an oil executive and his wife. Lots of mysteries surround the bizarrely-staged death scene -- the motive, for one thing. But the immediate puzzle is how a canoe bearing two dead bodies could approach an oil rig with a lot of other boat traffic around and with oil company security tightly enforcing a 500-meter perimeter?
Darko and his assistant, Sergeant Chikata, follow multiple trails in their search for a solution to the murders, since several different motives are possibilities. It could have been professional rivalry, or an effort to keep developers from spoiling an idyllic coastal resort, or a family feud that goes back generations.
The two officers are posted to the town of Takoradi for the duration of the investigation. This is a hardship for Darko, being a devoted family man, but a weekend visit by his wife and sons provides an additional occasion to tour coastal Ghana. This is very welcome, because the highlights of Murder at Cape Three Points are the vivid description of place and the opportunity to learn about the way of life in this exotic country.
Author Kwei Quartey is a native Ghanaian and this is his third novel set in his homeland. Being a doctor himself, the status of health care for natives in Ghana is a continuing theme in his books. He also provides Darko with an interesting minor medical condition. He experiences a kind of synesthesia in which noises cause him physical symptoms. Specifically, his palm tingles when people lie to him, a very useful disorder for a detective.