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Darko Dawson Books In Order

Publication Order of Darko Dawson Books

Wife of the Gods (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Children of the Street (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Murder at Cape Three Points (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Gold of Our Fathers (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Death by His Grace (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

The name ‘Darko Dawson’ refers to a series of police procedurals written by Kwei Quartey which follow the exploits of a police detective operating out of Accra in Ghana. The books follow Darko around as he contends with the social and religious issues that incite crime in his community.

+The Story
The Darko Dawson novels began publication in the late 2000s. And they immediately attracted interest from avid followers of the psychological thriller and police procedural genres because they featured a relatively typical police detective operating out of Ghana.

Darko Dawson is not the first police detective to hail from Africa. But most African Literary detectives generally fly under the radar, rarely garnering popularity to a level where enthusiastic readers might speak of them with the same reverence as their European and American counterparts.

Darko seems to have struck a nerve because he combines those sensibilities of the typical popular literary detective with an Africa-influenced personality to produce a unique and rather exotic amalgam that stands out from the crowd.

When readers meet the hero in ‘Wife of the Gods’, the first novel in the series, Detective inspector Darko Dawson has made quite a name for himself in the Ghana Police service as an exceptional sleuth with a rebellious heart.

For all the time and effort he injects into pursuing his career, though, Darko loves his family. So he isn’t particularly amused to learn that his bosses want him to abandon the comforts of the City for a small rural town.

A promising medical student was found dead. Darko has been charged with helping the local police find the murderer. While the lack of proximity to his family is definitely an issue, Darko is made even more apprehensive about the assignment by his history with the town of Ketanu.

Darko must put his personal woes to the side to contend with the air of superstition that threatens to consume his investigation.

The Darko Dawson series has been commended for expertly combining the police procedural and the psychological thriller genres. At the center of each installment in the series is a case that Darko must solve.

Readers follow the hero around as he goes through the motions of his investigative work, collecting clues, interviewing witnesses and brainstorming with his colleagues. The crimes in these novels are typically situated in poor locations, either isolated rural villages or slum areas.

As such, Darko Dawson’s work is made more difficult by the complexities that such settings invite. More often than not, Darko must solve cases in the absence of the amenities that make police work in the West so much easier.

The detective is lucky if he can get an autopsy done on time, if at all. There are plenty of dank basements and little in the way of sterile, gleaming morgues. The electricity in some Darko’s postings is never reliable and the rain brings with it leaking roofs.

Sometimes, Darko is fortunate enough to have a police vehicle at his disposal. Most times, he must brave the dusty, muddy roads of the communities in which his investigation is based on foot.

Those physical obstacles are further compounded by the corruption that is rife in the halls of power in Ghana, corruption that Darko must sidestep to solve his murders and mysteries.

Darko Dawson is a likable hero. He has his flaws. For instance, he is a little too fond of Marijuana mars. He also struggles with guilt over the unsolved disappearance of his mother when he was a child and the tragedy his brother encountered.

But, for the most part, he is quite likable, and he is happy, to an extent. Darko has a wife and son and he works quite hard to attend to their needs. That one aspect sets him apart even further.

Most literary detectives have rather poor family lives, the result of their all-consuming work. Darko always finds a way to spend time with his family and to nurture a strong relationship with them.

Every once in a while, his son’s health will become an issue, completely disorganizing Darko’s world but the detective refuses to bow under the pressure.

Kwei Quartey, the author spends a lot of time trying to bring Ghana’s landscape to life, highlighting the differences that set it apart from the average literary police procedural landscape.

He bases many of his mysteries on the themes of witchcraft, organized religion, tradition, and poverty.

+The Author
Kwei Quartey is a former student of Howard University in Washington, D.C. who has spent over two decades working as a doctor in California. He spends a lot of time in Ghana doing firsthand research for his novels.

+Wife of the Gods
An AIDS worker is dead. She was found strangled in the jungle. The victim traveled a lot between villages, so local law enforcement thinks that some of the young men who liked her might be to blame.

There is also reason to believe that some of the local herbalists and AIDS carriers in denial of their status had an issue with her. Either way, it will fall on the shoulders of Darko Dawson to solve the murder.

Darko is forced to leave the big city for the small town of Ketanu to aid local law enforcement because he happens to speak the local language. But Darko’s estranged relationship with the family he left behind won’t make his job easy, not to mention opposition from the local police that does not appreciate outside interference.

+Children of the Street
No one cares about the children who live in the slums of Accra. So when Darko Dawson is charged with investigating the murder of teenagers turning up dead in the slums of Ghana’s cosmopolitan capital, he struggles to find willing help in his quest.

Darko has seen dead teenagers in slums before. But this time around, all the victims share a chilling signature. So the detective is fairly certain that this string of murders is connected.

There is a monster out there, one that is perpetrating ritual killings for reasons that Darko must decipher before even more bodies begin to drop. That means diving into the city’s underbelly with its poverty and violence.

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