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Nairobi Heat (Melville International Crime) Paperback – 20 Oct 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: MELVILLE HOUSE PUBLISHING; First Printing edition (20 Oct. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781935554646
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935554646
  • ASIN: 1935554646
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.3 x 20.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 414,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Maxine Clarke VINE VOICE on 19 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A beautiful young woman is found dead on the steps of a house in a rich suburb of Madison, Wisconsin. Detective Ishmael (who actually does say "call me Ishmael" when asked for his name) is dispatched to investigate. The only possible suspect is Joseph Hakisimana, the owner of the house, but there is no evidence to connect him to the crime. Indeed, Hakisimnana turns out to be a hero of Rwanda, having saved many of his fellow citizens from genocide and now involved in a foundation to help the rebuilding of the country and its survivors after the terrible civil wars there.

Ishmael's police chief decides to send him to Kenya as the only clue is an anonymous phone call from that country, promising some information about the woman's identity and who killed her. Ishmael is of African descent but has never visited that continent; the main part of this novel is about his experiences in Kenya and, later, Rwanda as he attempts to solve the case with the help of local detective "O" and a singer, Madeline. In the process, Ishmael has a personal voyage of discovery about his own identity.

The pace of this novel is cracking. As soon as Ishmael arrives in Kenya he and O rescue a schoolgirl from a vicious sexual attack and end up in a gun battle with the perpetrator's gang. The two get into bar fights, visit crime lords, get kidnapped, endure a terrifying car chase and discover bodies as they (mainly Ishmael) discover a network of corruption - but still not the identity of the dead girl. Eventually Ishmael attempts to leave the country via Uganda, and it is while he is travelling through Rwanda to get there that the crucial breakthrough of his case - somewhat coincidentally - occurs. The final part of the book takes place in Madison, involving a couple of plot twists.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Peter R TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The other two reviewers have written the basic story premise so I wont cover that again. One thing to note however, is that the product description which ends with reference to 'oil money' is misleading. This is not a book about oil money. Definitely a book about blood money. And in many ways, it is good that the writer has not gone down the well-trodden, cliched path of corruption in the Oil & Gas sector.

The writing is decent, not exceptional, with narration by Detective Ishmael, a black American who finds himself travelling to Kenya to solve the murder of a white girl found on the doorstep of an African hero.

Although the writing isn't exceptional, the story has many characters connected and plenty of twists and turns that kept my interest and encouraged me to finish the book in a couple of a days.

The strength of the book is the story. The characters aren't developed and you feel not affiliation for any of them, even Ishmael. The writing isn't particularly artistic and there is little in the way of description or detail.

There are touches on the differences between life in Kenya and America but they are perfunctory and in many cases cliched and stereotypical.

However, if you have an interest in crime novels then this will probably be refreshingly dissimilar to most of what you have read in regards to the story and the twists. If you have an interest in racial politics then this book will interest you. If you have an interest in African history then this book will certainly be of interest. Or if you are looking for a reasonably interesting holiday read then this wont disappoint.

Hope that helps.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael Watson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Set in Kenya (most of the time), this is a really good thriller from an author new to me.

He puts together an initially confusing story which, always in the background, is the horror tale of genocide in Rwanda, though it's not easy to see this at the beginning.

A body of a young girl is found on the doorstep of a Kenyan 'hero' in Wisconsin, so, at first, he becomes the prime suspect in the killing.

However, Detective Ishmael of the Madison Police Department, having been enticed to Nairobi on a dangerously elusive phone call, soon begins to question just who did kill the girl.

It's a clever book, with enough twists and a decent splattering of action to keep the reader interested.

Where it does fall down is with the constant references to black people, white people, black people again. It's almost like a literary piano keyboard and it tends to slow the pace and spoil the flow. I appreciate that it's important for a black Amrican going to Kenya where he's viewed, in his mind, mainly, as a whitey to gain his standing but I think these references are overdone.

Still, Detective Ishmael plods on, avoiding death but not always pain, along the way. He's a sharpshooter, it seems as a whole plethora of people of both colours and a few inbetween, try to head him off at the pass.

The story reads well. It opens the reader's eyes to what goes on in Kenya without, fortunately, extolling its virtues too much as a tourist attraction. Frankly, if you were to come up against the characters in this book in Nairobi, you'd be forgiven for wishing to find a rather more relaxing place to spend your time. But certainly, don't let this put you off reading the book. I shall look out for the author's next foray into thriller writing.
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