The Honey Guide (Mollel 1) Paperback – 4 Jul 2013
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A compulsive whodunnit set in Kenya, where tribal politicscan get you killed (Ian Rankin MAIL ON SUNDAY)
[Crompton] has done something near-miraculous and madethe figure of the incorruptible loner-detective fresh again (DAILY TELEGRAPH)
Smashing . . . It will make you long for the next instalment (FINANCIAL TIMES)
"GOING BACK is a captivating book that many will relate to... As first-time novels go, we commend English on her keen observation of Ireland through the decades and accentuating this to bring us a clever plot that dabbles between the eras. Now that it comes in paperback, we recommend this one to go along in the suitcase as it's a perfect poolside read." (IRISH COUNTRY LIVING)
Richard Crompton's accomplished debut novel...spins an enjoyable yarn headed up by a credible protagonist. A fine debut that holds the promise of other good adventures to come (Fachtna Kelly SUNDAY BUSINESS POST)
A disturbingly informative debut novel from this former BBC journalist who also won the Daily Telegraph 2010 short story award (TELEGRAPH & ARGUS (BRADFORD))
a highly compelling crime story... The characterisation is particularly strong and the plot manages to be believable while still offering a few subtle twists. Some of the writing is outstanding. Once scene, in which Mollel and his partner talk while going up in a lift, their conversation unfolding floor by floor, is as good as anything I have read in crime fiction... A fine and very welcome new additional to the ranks of international crime novels and I am very much looking forward to the next in the series. (Scott Pack meandmybigmouth.typepad.com)
Crompton's thrilling African mystery is accomplished, atmospheric, and engrossing. (THE GOOD BOOK GUIDE)
"Former BBC journalist Crompton’s debut features a unique voice, an in-depth look at diverse Kenyan rites and political chicanery, and a hero who, one hopes, is just at the beginning of his fictional career." (Kirkus Reviews)
"A spectacular fiction debut . . . Instantly elevates the author, now a Nairobi resident, to the first rank of African crime writers." (Publishers Weekly)
"Crompton brings the streets of Nairobi to life, Mollel and Kiunga, his investigation partner, are strong characters and with the traditions and history of the country integral to the plot, this is an excellent crime series in the making." (Choice magazine)
"Good news for fans of exotic police procedurals, crime fiction's first Maasai detective makes his debut here in what promises to be a series to watch. It is 2007 and Mollel, an outsider in a mostly Kikuyu force, investigates the murder of a woman as riots sweep through Nairobi following claims of corruption and vote- rigging in the Kenyan elections." (The Times of South Africa)
"This is a smashing debut, as fleet-footed as the warrior himself. It will make you long for the next instalment." (The Financial Times)
"A good plot and an interesting cast of characters.' (The Times)
"The Honey Guide introduces Mollel, a former Maasia warrior...an intriguing figure, famous as the man who pulled dozens of survivors from the wreckage of the US embassy after it was bombed in 1998...Mollel's vulnerabilities gradually unfold, revealing a damaged but determined character who promises to be a fine addition to the ranks of fictional detectives." (The Sunday Times)
"A fascinating debut novel set against the turbulent Kenyan 2007 election in which more than 1,500 were killed in riots, this is the first in a series that will bring Nairobi and its colourful citizens vividly to life." (The Irish Independent)
"A vivid and sensitive depiction of an alarmingly volatile situation, riven with tribal divisions, in a place where glittering tower blocks and shopping malls sit cheek-by-jowl with tin shacks. This, however is more than mere local colour, with traditions, beliefs and conflicts being properly defining factors in the characterisation of a strong cast." (The Guardian) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Anybody who has lived in Nairobi for any length of time, as I have, knows that the police force has limited access to modern policing techniques such as advanced forensics, vast computerized databases, and highly trained specialists. Even the guns look so old and rickety you wonder if they would ever fire - which is desirable since they are often casually wafted barrel-first at your head by the officer sitting next to you on a bumpy bus. As a result, Mr. Crompton's book is a back-to-basics detective novel, in which the main protagonist Mollel - a Masai cop whose wife died in the US Embassy bombing - must track the murderer of a prostitute through old-fashioned legwork.
Complicating the investigation is the violence that erupted following disputed 2007 presidential elections, which sees Mollel following his lead through an increasingly chaotic landscape, and being sucked into corruption and political shenanigans in the process. Mollel himself is a fascinating character. While he has the obligatory demons, his are not the hackneyed issues of failed relationships and alcohol. I won't go into any of them to avoid spoilers.
The novel is meticulously plotted, offering up red herrings aplenty along the way and keeping the reader guessing as to the identity of the killer until late into the book - although perhaps the more astute reader of detective fiction will figure it out sooner.
The writing very much leans toward the literary.Read more ›
This is a solid start to a series, with a great location and characters. Mollel has an interesting past, plus a good network of supporting characters. The plot has many twists and turns and the author brings the city of Nairobi to life brilliantly. If you like a good mystery, with an exotic location, then this could be for you.
Mollel himself is a distinctive and likeable lead, and convinces as a character whose own strengths, shortcomings and background shape his investigation. Particularly enjoyable is the humour brought out by his relationship with his partner Kiunga. The secondary characters, particularly Superglue Sammy, Faith and the Nalos, are well drawn, and the novel is vividly and sensitively written. A potentially great new series and thoroughly recommended.
Mollel's investigation of the killing and mutilation of a young Nairobi prostitute then doesn't exactly follow the normal crime procedural lines. That's not so much to do with failings in criminal science methods, forensics or lines of communication - although inevitably, things realistically take a little longer than they would in a European or American setting - as much as the difficulties Mollel faces when confronted with class and tribal divisions, particularly as there are suggestions that the mutilation of the woman could be associated with a nasty tribal ritual still carried out in some regions.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Flawed but fascinating. A good first novel, and I shall seek out the follow up.Published 5 months ago by Villa renter
Very good crime thriller in an unusual setting - Nairobi. Strongly recommended.Published 9 months ago by Mr. J. Hewett
I enjoyed this book in many ways. It's fast moving and it provides interesting insights into Kenya and Nairobi, a country and a city I know reasonably well. Read morePublished 16 months ago by The Bagster
I rarely leave reviews but this book deserves to be discovered and read simply because it's a cracking read. I love good crime/thriller/noir books, the lot. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Nilondoner
Good characters set against an interesting Nairobi background. As with all good detective stories the place and the people are just as/more interesting than the case to be solved.Published 16 months ago by Annie Emslie
The Honey Guide is a crime novel with plenty of twists and turns in the plot to keep you interested but the plot is only half the book as it also covers some Maasai traditions and... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Elaine Tomasso
This is Richard Crompton's first novel and introduces the Kenyan detective, Mollel, `a Maasai warrior turned cop' in a case that unfolds in December 2007, immediately before and... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Dr R
Mollel is a Nairobi policeman, ex CID but now busted down to Traffic. He’s a Maasai and when a Maasai girl’s mutilated body is found in Uhuru Park his insider knowledge gets him in... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Bibliodysseus