Review- Facets of Death by Michael Stanley

Detective Kubu’s first case may also be his last…

Recruited straight from university to Botswana’s CID, David ‘Kubu’ Bengu has raised his colleagues’ suspicions with his meteoric rise within the department, and he has a lot to prove…

When the richest diamond mine in the world is robbed of 100,000 carats worth of gems, and then the thieves are killed, execution-style, Kubu leaps at the chance to prove himself. But where are the diamonds? And what role does a witch doctor and his son play?

Does this young detective have the skill – and integrity – to engineer an international trap? Or could it cost him everything, including his life…?

A riveting, chilling prequel to the award-winning Detective Kubu series, Facets of Death introduces the beloved Kubu and his richly described native Botswana, in a dark, sophisticated thriller that will leave you breathless.


I am happy to start my review by announcing that I am,  imagine drum rolls, fireworks and flashing lights at this moment,  a Detective Kubu super fan! Just like Beyonce has a fan club, celebrated and cherished by so many, Kubu is my crime solving superstar! You might think that is a tad over the top, I promise you fellow book lovers it is not, he is bloody marvellous and in and of himself, a good enough reason to immediately buy Facets of Death by Michael Stanley. 

Do I hear you say,  that you need more reasons to spend your hard earned money? Well okay, here we go…

Facets of Death is not the first book to feature the wonderful Detective Kubu, it is in fact a thrilling prequal to a whole series of exciting adventures to feature one of my favourite detectives.  Which makes it wonderful in two ways, if you like me are an already died in the wool fan, it takes you back to Kubu’s first days in Botswana’s CID and you get to know where his story started, all wrapped up in a breathless and exciting read. If you have never had the luck to read one of the Dective Kubu series,  it is a good place to start and then, you have all his other stories to look forward to, almost unparcelled joy in my book.  

There you go!

More you say?

The story is rich and diverse. Set in a landscape that is so vividly brought to life, you can feel the warmth of the sun on your face, imagine yourself walking out of the page and into the Botswana Kubu inhabits.  It feeds into the story in a way that feels organic, because tales of witch doctors and murder driven by greed for the countries diamond wealth, marry up exploitation of the natural resources with the exploitation of those caught up in a series of increasingly brutal murders. Now that might all sound grim, but what makes the writing of Michael Stanley stand out, is the warmth that floods through the story and the humour, which in Facets of Death primarily comes from Kubu’s attempts fit into his role and his awkward, but endearing attempts at romance.

The pages are full of an ensemble cast of characters besides Kubu and we never really know who we can trust until the last page. I know what you’re thinking, such twists and turns are pretty standard fare in any thriller and your right they are! Sometimes they are so obvious you can see them long before the author intends, but within these pages I genuinely found myself accusing the wrong people of being involved in the conspiracy and trail of deaths that Kubu was trying to solve. 

It really is a first class thriller, one that will make you smile, even laugh a few times and it certainly will be worth every single penny they are asking for!

You can buy this amazing book directly from the author in print and ebook format from their website!

Or from Amazon and Waterstones.

Why not also consider ordering from your favourite independent bookshop?

About the authors

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. On a flying trip to Botswana, they watched a pack of hyenas hunt, kill, and devour a wildebeest, eating both flesh and bones. That gave them the premise for their first mystery, A Carrion Death, which introduced Detective ‘Kubu’ Bengu of the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department. It was a finalist for five awards, including the CWA Debut Dagger. 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, and book five, A Death in the Family, was an international bestseller. Their first standalone thriller, Dead of Night, was published in 2019.

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