cover image The Missing American

The Missing American

Kwei Quartey. Soho Crime, $25.95 (432p) ISBN 978-1-64129-070-8

At the start of this solid series launch from Quartey (the Darko Dawson series), a sniper assassinates Bernard Evans-Aidoo, a Ghanaian presidential candidate campaigning on an anti-corruption platform. Meanwhile, the hopes of 26-year-old Emma Djan, a detective constable in Accra, to become a homicide detective like her late father are dashed after she resists the advances of the sleazy commissioner of police, who offered her a transfer to the murder squad in return for sex; the commissioner then has her fired on trumped up charges. After doing some other work, Emma leaps at the opportunity to join a PI firm, which involves her in a complex missing person’s case. American Gordon Tilson, a lonely widower, was lured to Ghana by Helena, an online scam artist who pretended to be interested in him romantically and accepted thousands from him to pay her sister’s supposed medical bills. Soon after Tilson decided to try to seek justice, he disappeared. Quartey keeps readers guessing as to whether and how the political murder is linked to the Tilson case. Readers will welcome Emma into the ranks of capable female detectives. Agent: Marly Rusoff, Marly Rusoff Literary. (Jan.)