Accra Private Investigator Emma Djan S First Missing Persons Case Will Lead Her To The Darkest Depths Of The Email Scams And Fetish Priests In Ghana, The World S Internet Capital When Her Dreams Of Rising Through The Police Ranks Like Her Late Father Crash Around Her, Year Old Emma Djan Is Unsure What Will Become Of Her Life In Accra Through A Sympathetic Former Colleague, Emma Gets An Interview With A Private Detective Agency Tracking Down Missing Persons, Thefts, And Marital Infidelities It S Not The Future She Imagined, But It S Her Best Option Meanwhile, Gordon Tilson, A Middle Aged Widower In Washington, DC, Has Found Solace In An Online Community After His Wife S Passing Through The Support Group, He S Even Met A Young Ghanaian Widow He Really Cares About, And When Her Sister Gets Into A Car Accident, He Sends Her Thousands Of Dollars To Cover The Hospital Bill To The Horror Of His Only Son, Derek When Gordon Runs Off To Ghana To Surprise His New Love And Disappears, Derek Chases After Him, Fearing For His Father S Life The Case Of The Missing American Man Will Drag Both Emma And Derek Into A World Of Sakawa Scams, Fetish Priests, And Those Willing To Keep Things Secret Through Death One of the best things about reading is the chance to visit places you have never been This book takes us to Ghana where an intrepid young policewoman tries to do her job in the face of rampant corruption and even sexual harassment When she stands up for herself she is fired but bounces back as a private investigator Her first case is the missing American who has visited Ghana to visit a woman he met on line but discovers he has been defrauded for money He disappears when he tries to find out who tricked him The investigation goes through the seamy side of Ghana including a voodoo priest who has connections to powerful people It s really interesting and there are a lot of twists and turns It s amazing to read about a place that I had no knowledge of before this and, unfortunately, left me with no desire to visit. The title of Kwei Quartey s new book, The Missing American, does not do justice to this first in a new series featuring Emma Djan, former member of the Ghana Police Service turned private detective I am a fan of mysteries set in countries outside of the U.S and I have read and admired Quartey s previous Darko Dawson series The Missing American far exceeds his previous efforts Emma is a complex character who engages in a complicated set of scams, crimes, and murders that take the reader deep into the world of the sakawa phenomenon the internet scams that permeate Ghana and target Americans and other westerners We also glimpse politics, corruption, and greed, and a touch of sexual harassment too But, Ghanaian society is not all scams and schemes and darkness, and Quartey manages to show us many good sides of the culture, too More than 50 years ago I had a summer job working for a Yale economist whose work focused on Ghana and I was intrigued enough to want to visit Although I never did, my resolve to spend some time in the country has been renewed My thanks to Quartey for reigniting my interest through his excellent novel I am looking forward to reading in this series.Thanks to Soho Press and NetGalley for providing an ARC of this novel in exchange for an objective review. Will link to review when published. This book would translate well to film It has almost everything you need to make a compelling movie 1 Interesting, somewhat complex plot, 2 Exotic locale, 3 Large cast of characters to add some complexity to the story line, 4 Lots of local color and atmosphere, 5 Topical themes of internet scams and of political corruption.This is a mystery thriller set in modern day Ghana Theoretically, the main character is 26 year old Emma Djan, rookie police officer following in her late father s footsteps, who suffers a setback in her career and finds herself dismissed from the police force She lands on her feet with a job at a private detective agency This agency is hired by American Derek Tilson to find his father Gordon, of Washington D.C., missing several weeks since arriving in Ghana, the victim of an elaborate internet romance scam The Ghanaian police department had been informed of Tilson s disappearance but lack of much cooperation and investigation on their part leads Tilson s son to the private agency.That would be the main and titular story of this start to a new series by Ghanaian American author Kwei Quartey, whose Darko Dawson series, also set in Africa, appears to be popular, although I have never read any of the Darko books and cannot give an opinion This is my first book by Quartey and my impression of it is favorable as an entertainment.There s a lot going on and a wide range of characters to keep you interested and on your toes For the first third of the book you may be wondering what all these seemingly disparate happenings in very short chapters have to do with each other, but everything will be tied up neatly by the end.You have political assassinations and government intrigue, undercover investigations, a fetish priest witch doctor and Ghanaian sakawa boys internet scammers , a Ghanaian autism center, corruption in the police force All of this and a bit and told with a good bit of local color and Ghanaian traditions to make the story fun and even informative.Where this fails for me, enough that I ll only go to three stars for its rating, is in the writing It s just good enough to get the story told and that s all Also there are many characters but little character development Every person here is just a bit player in the story even Emma and feels pulled directly from Central Casting I don t feel I really know much about any of the character s real character after the read.If I had enjoyed the way the story was written as much as I enjoyed the story itself, this could have been a 5 star book. Emma Djan is a neat, smart, thoughtful policewoman, trying to maintain her focus and morals in the midst of the swirling chaos that is Accra, Ghana Her father was a policeman, but she s off the force once she refuses her superior s advances Fortunately, she is recommended to a private investigator who appreciates her initiative and imagination Her first case is to find what happened to an American named Gordon Tilson, who came to Ghana to meet a woman he met online Of course, there is no such person Even Gordon, the widower of a Ghanaian woman and who has lived in Ghana, falls for a scam headed by a fetish priest and his team of young men.Kwei Quartey takes us into the world internet scams, especially sakawa scams which require sacrifices to a fetish priest to guarantee success Emma ends up in the middle of some pretty gruesome stuff, and heaps of corruption, all of which she handles neatly and creatively What a treat to have a PI who s not a mess.Quartey s Ghanian novels are a glimpse into a very different world with a culture that is mysterious and powerful The Missing American is a bold start to his new series.Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for approving me to read and review.Candace Siegle, Greedy Reader This is a new series that is set in Ghana introducing Emma Djan She has turned to private investigation due to the fact that her police career is over.When a former colleague manages to get her an interview with a detective agency Emma realizes she has an opportunity to salvage her career.Gordon Tilson enters the story looking for comfort in an online support group after the death of his wife Through this group Gordon meets a young widow and quickly befriends her He even sends her money to help with bills when her family suffers a tragedy Gordon runs to Ghana to the horror of his son Derek who, enlisting the help of Emma, follows his father.This case will take Emma and Derek into the world of crime and scams St times they won t know who to trust.Fast paced and riveting THE MISSING AMERICAN by Kwei Quartey Gordon Tilson, a retired widower, thinks he s found a new love through an online senior dating site Helena is Ghahaian like his dead wife, and when she mentions a family emergency they can t afford, he s happy to send her the money Gordon goes to Ghana to meet Helena and discovers that she doesn t exist He s been the victim of a widespread scam that involves people in every social strata Angry, Gordon starts to ask questions, and soon he s gone missing No one knows where he is Young Emma Djan, now working for a private detective, is determined to find him The talented Kwei Quartey has given us a powerful story with a cast of three dimensional wonderful characters A wonderful read This is a new series that is set in Ghana introducing Emma Djan She has turned to private investigation due to the fact that her police career is over.When a former colleague manages to get her an interview with a detective agency Emma realizes she has an opportunity to salvage her career.Gordon Tilson enters the story looking for comfort in an online support group after the death of his wife Through this group Gordon meets a young widow and quickly befriends her He even sends her money to help with bills when her family suffers a tragedy Gordon runs to Ghana to the horror of his son Derek who, enlisting the help of Emma, follows his father.This case will take Emma and Derek into the world of crime and scams St times they won t know who to trust.Fast paced and riveting This is the first in a new series from Kwei Quartey featuring private investigator Emma Djan I just love Quartey s Darko Dawson series which is set in Ghana, and so glad that the new series is also set there Many thanks to sohocrime soho_press for the advance readers copy of the book It will be published on January 14, 2020.Emma Djan was in the police force, following her father s career She leaves the force and is offered a position with a private detective agency which she accepts The first major investigation she has is tracing an American man who had come to Ghana in hopes of meeting a woman who he had met in an online chat group and had fallen in love with When he disappears during his trip to Ghana, his son comes to Accra to try to find out what happened to him This is a fascinating story bringing to life the Ghanaian version of the Nigerian Prince scams of many years ago, this version Rom Con, using sophisticated computer programs and software to allow the young men who practice Sakawah, in connection with fetish priests to give them special powers, to lure people into relationships and convince them to send money to help with various problems The amount of money earned through these scams is enormous and thus the threat of exposure is fought against with deadly consequences Quartey presents a rich picture of Ghana and Ghanaians, as well as providing an exciting and at times intense story I m looking forward to books featuring Emma, but I d also love reading books featuring Darko Review to follow in the Library Journal.This is the first in a series.
- 432 pages
- The Missing American
- Kwei Quartey
- 10 December 2017 Kwei Quartey