Wife of the Gods : Darko Dawson

  • by Kwei Quartey
  • Narrated by Simon Prebble
  • Series: Darko Dawson
  • 9 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Detective Inspector Darko Dawson, a good family man and a remarkably intuitive sleuth, is sent to the village of Ketanu - the site of his mother's disappearance many years ago - to solve the murder of an accomplished young AIDS worker. While battling his own anger issues and concerns for his ailing son, Darko explores the motivations and secrets of the residents of Ketanu. It soon becomes clear that in addition to solving a recent murder, he is about to unravel the shocking truth about his mother's disappearance.
Kwei Quartey's sparkling debut novel introduces readers to a rich cast of characters, including the Trokosi - young women called Wives of the Gods - who, in order to bring good fortune to their families, are sent to live with fetish priests. Set in Ghana, with the action moving back and forth between the capital city of Accra and a small village in the Volta Region, Wife of the Gods brings the culture and beauty of its setting brilliantly to life.

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What the Critics Say

"Engrossing.... Quartey...renders a compelling cast of characters inhabiting a world precariously perched between old and new. (Booklist)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Engrossing Mystery in a Fascinating Setting

What initially drew me toward this book is that it is read by Simon Prebble, one of my favorite narrators. My expectations for the book were really only that it would provide a reasonable diversion. Having read the McCall Smith Ladies No. 1 novels, I suppose I anticipated something similar. I was very happily mistaken. While I enjoy the AMS novels, they are light, frilly reads; Wife of the Gods is a substantial novel.

While the setting in Ghana is fascinating enough to provide an engrossing reading experience on its own, the mystery is deftly enough plotted to satisfy any mystery lover. After I was hooked on the novel, I looked up the author to discover that he is himself from Ghana, although now living in the US. His intimate knowledge of his setting shows in how quickly the reader is drawn into this--for most American readers--quite foreign world.

The main character, detective Dawson, is a fully-realized and realistic character. He is presented as a flawed individual coping at times not very well with difficult situations. As the mystery unfolds and clues are doled out, one can speculate on the outcome of this classical whodunit along with Detective Dawson. There's enough meat in this novel to discuss it endlessly, but suffice it to say whether you want a good mystery, a book about an exotic locale, or a book with significant social commentary, this is a good choice.

Finally, while I did enjoy hearing Simon Prebble read this book, I'm not sure he was the best choice as a narrator. His lovely British accent is always a pleasure to hear, but I can't help but wonder why someone who could have given the novel the added flavor of a lyrical African sound wasn't selected to read this novel which is about Ghana as much as it is about the mystery. Again, this isn't really a complaint--no star subtraction; Prebble brings life to each character skillfully as always.
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- Tracey Rains "I love the BBC and British mysteries, but my tastes are very eclectic. I live with my husband and menagerie of rescued cats and dogs."

Excellent, mysterious and very humanistic.

This is an excellent mystery. Set in Africa, it is more serious than the "No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" books by Alexander McCall Smith. It's more comparable to the Detective Kubu books by Michael Stanely, but I think it has even more depth and sociological tones to it.

Detective Darko Dawson is very human and fallible, a product of his childhood as are we all.

This is a good mystery, a good read, great character study and presented by an excellent narrator, Simon Prebble.

This author has another book coming out next year. I can't wait!

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- Liz

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-03-2010
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio