Monday, 24 July 2017

Dying To Live by Michael Stanley #BlogTour @Detectivekubu @OrendaBooks #MyLifeInBooks

The sixth mystery in the beloved and critically acclaimed Detective Kubu series. Kubu and his colleague Samantha Khama track a killer through the wilds of Botswana on their most dangerous case yet.

When the body of a Bushman is discovered near the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the death is written off as an accident. But all is not as it seems. An autopsy reveals that, although he's clearly very old, his internal organs are puzzlingly young. What's more, an old bullet is lodged in one of his muscles... but where is the entry wound? When the body is stolen from the morgue and a local witch doctor is reported missing, Detective 'Kubu' Bengu gets involved. But did the witch doctor take the body to use as part of a ritual? Or was it the American anthropologist who'd befriended the old Bushman? As Kubu and his brilliant young colleague, Detective Samantha Khama, follow the twisting trail through a confusion of rhino-horn smugglers, foreign gangsters and drugs manufacturers, the wider and more dangerous the case seems to grow. A fresh, new slice of 'Sunshine Noir', Dying to Live is a classic tale of greed, corruption and ruthless thuggery, set in one of the world's most beautiful landscapes, and featuring one of crime fiction's most endearing and humane heroes.

Dying To Live by Michael Stanley is the sixth in the Detective Kubu series and was published by Orenda Books in paperback on 12 July 2017.

Welcome to the #DyingToLive #BlogTour -in partnership with Orenda Books.
I'm delighted to welcome Stanley Trollip (half of the Michael Stanley partnership) here to Random Things today, to talk about My Life In Books:

My Life in Books ~ Stanley Trollip

I was 10 years old when I played the March Hare in my primary school’s stage play of this classic.  I immediately fell in love with worlds different from my own, worlds that had their own nonsensical logic that made sense to me. It made me believe that looking at things differently was okay.  It also showed me how powerful words could be.
“I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.” 
“My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.”

I was in high school when I read this.  I started it before my lights-out time, but continued reading into the wee hours of the morning until I reached the end.  As I switched off the light, I remember being resigned to the fact that I was going to die.  When my father woke me up in the morning to go to school, I was totally bewildered.  I should have been dead.  The impact that this apocalyptic story had on me gave me a deep appreciation of the power of story-telling.

Set in a Japanese prisoner of war camp in World Was II, King Rat is a story of survival in horrific circumstances.  The main character is an American who is a master of trading, and runs a successful (black market) business in the camp, buying and selling food and other items.  He comes into conflict with other characters, mainly British, whose principles are less flexible.  I regard this book as the first one that opened my eyes to how people react differently to the same circumstances and how flexible morality can be.  Clavell’s words opened up the idea of character to me more so than other books I had read.

This classic was published in the same year that the National Party came to power in South Africa.  The Nats, as they were called, were responsible for the institutionalization of apartheid.  For reasons I have never really understood, from a very young age I was appalled both by the premise of apartheid (that Black people were inferior to Whites) as well as the impact the legislation had on decent people.  Reading Cry the Beloved Country made me cry and feel ashamed that I was a privileged White.

I had a difficult time deciding whether to list The Magus or The Collector, two of John Fowles books that I love.  I decided on The Magus because I have seen the movie (Michael Caine, Anthony Quinn, Candice Bergen) more times (around 10) than I’ve seen The Collector (Terence Stamp and Samantha Eggar) (4 or 5 times).  That’s probably because I had a crush on Candice Bergen.  The Magus is a weird book in which the main character, Nicholas Urfe, gets sucked into a series of psychological games, with Greek tycoon, Maurice Conchis.  As the games progress, Nicholas finds it increasingly difficult to differentiate between what’s real and what’s not.  The book spoke to me so strongly, probably because it reflected my own psychological uncertainties at the time as an undergraduate at university.  

Stanley Trollip ~ July 2017 

Michael Stanley is the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Both were born in South Africa and have worked in academia and business. Stanley was an educational psychologist, specialising in the application of computers to teaching and learning, and is a pilot. Michael specialises in image processing and remote sensing, and teaches at the University of the Witwatersrand. The series has been critically acclaimed, and their third book, Death of the Mantis, won the Barry Award and was a finalist for an Edgar award. Deadly Harvest was a finalist for an International Thriller Writers award.

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for letting me share some of the books that have had a powerful impact on me.