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Nairobi Heat by Mukoma wa Ngugi

Nairobi Heat

by Mukoma wa Ngugi

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796228,440 (3.14)14
2011 (2) 2013 (1) 2014 (2) Africa (5) Africa fiction (1) African Diaspora (1) crime (3) crime fiction (3) detective (2) digital (1) fiction (8) international aid (1) international crime (1) Kenya (13) Kindle (2) LT (1) May (1) Melville House (2) MYS (1) mystery (9) Nairobi (4) noir (1) proof (1) Rwanda (7) thriller (5) to-read (6) tpo (1) USA (2) Wisconsin (4) xxx (1)



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Fast, thoughtful and fun thriller

A dead white girl is found on the doorstep of a Rwandan Professor, revered as a hero for his actions during the genocide. A mix which has the media in a frenzy, the local KKK riled and a scapegoat desperately needed. Dead ends abound until a glimmer of light, far far away in Nairobi. Ishmael is going to have to go back to his ancestral home and face some truth about himself, about society

Racial tensions and corruption, colonialism and genocide mix in the heady culture clash of USA and Kenya. Mixed with the love, friendship & finding ones place in the world. It’s a heady (used heady twice)mix but stays a cool noir thriller throughout with car chases and internal conspiracies, whilst using the genre to look to explore how to right a terrible wrong, what lengths do you go. What does justice mean. It’s exactly the kind of thing Noir is for.

“Do not commit crimes against white people because the state will not rest until you are caught.”

I bought this for a non-western slant and to my inexperienced eye wasn't disappointed. The characters slowly grew on me and afterwards I find myself needing to read book 2. O and Ishmael make a good partnership and if women don't overload the text at least they aren’t wallflowers. The action’s good, I enjoyed the mystery, although parts of it do stretch the credibility.. suspension of disbelief I suspect required, I mean I had to overcome the oddity at a US cop flown to Nairobi to pursue a case when the obvious suspect is sitting right there (& they didn’t even search his house). My only other complaint is that the initial US bits felt a bit flat compared to Kenya. Still it makes a change.. ahem.

Recommended, a fine Noir/hard boiled crime novel. However if you are extremely fixated on plots being 100% believable & perfect this may raise hackles. ( )
  clfisha | Oct 14, 2013 |
"Fresh Meat" by Victoria Janssen for Criminal Element

Mukoma wa Ngugi’s Nairobi Heat is a hardboiled novel that I could easily imagine as a Hollywood movie, though with considerably more moral complexity than most movies manage. Usually when there are “buddy” detectives from two wildly different backgrounds, one is clearly the lead and the other the sidekick. I really appreciated that not only do both detectives have their own strengths, the “sidekick” had quite a few things to teach the narrator.

Picture this: two detectives, one an African-American, the other his philosophical Kenyan counterpart; the busy streets of Nairobi, referred to by a local cop as “Nairobbery”; the elaborate country house of a rich white man who hunted two Africans like animals; a beautiful woman with a terrible past who falls for the hero; a multimillion dollar charity to benefit survivors of the Rwandan genocide. All that and plenty of philosophy amid the flying bullets and slashing knives.

(Read the rest at http://www.criminalelement.com/blogs/2011/09/fresh-meat-nairobi-heat-by-mukoma-w... )
  CrimeHQ | Apr 11, 2013 |
A book that I read with interest. A book that both an 'ordinary' thriller / detective but it also made me think about Africa and America.

The narrator is the main character, the black American Ishmael. A blonde woman is found in front of the Rwandan Professor Joshua Hakizimana, also peace activist. Or not?

The murder leads to Kenya, where Ishmael together with O starts looking for a possible link with Joshua. On their quest they run into other police cases as well . They are describes by Ishmael in an impressive way and how he sees it, from his American perspective.

The story has some unexpected twists and is a real page-turner. Recommended for fans of the detective genre.

http://boekenwijs.blogspot.com/2012/01/nairobi-heat.html ( )
  boekenwijs | Jan 15, 2012 |
Writing was a bit choppy at first. However, all in all not a bad book. I would read something else by this author. ( )
  mtrumbo | Dec 26, 2011 |
Transplanting an African-American detective from Madison, WI to investigate a crime in Nairobi makes for an interesting crime thriller. The character is well-developed and the plot is keeps the reader turning the pages. I would recommend this to any reader who enjoys crime novels. ( )
  Jcambridge | Dec 13, 2011 |
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A beautiful young blonde was dead, and the suspect, my suspect, was an African male.
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In Madison, Wisconsin, it's a big deal when African peace activist Joshua Hakizimana, famous for saving hundreds of people from the Rwandan genocide, accepts a position at the university to teach about "genocide and testimony." Then a young woman is fround murdered on his doorstep..… (more)

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