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Friday, 20 December 2013

Review: Devil-Devil, Graeme Kent (Solomon Islands)

Title: Devil-Devil
Author: Graeme Kent
Publication: New York/Soho Press, Inc.
ISBN #: 978-1-616-95-060-6
# of pages: 281
Discovered while discussing global authors with a bookstore owner
Read in paper format
Also available in e-book format
Ben Kella is a very talented sergeant in the Solomon Islands Police Force but he often runs afoul of his British colonial bosses as he tries to balance his police duties with those of his role as aofia, hereditary spiritual peacekeeper of his people, the Lau. It doesn’t help to have Sister Conchita underfoot. The young American nun is on her first overseas posting and she too is trying to balance what her bosses expect with what she believes is right, while proving to the locals that she has what it takes to live there. When they meet over a half buried skeleton, the sparks start flying.

 Set in the Solomon Islands in 1960’s, a mere 15 years after World War II, the local people are still feeling the effects of that war and occupation by the Japanese, as well as itching for independence from British rule. The author does an excellent job of setting up the mystery while sharing the culture, history, and challenges of this remote part of the world. Kella is reminiscent of Tony Hillerman’s Navajo detective and traditional healer Jim Chee. The characters are well developed and realistic, and the conclusion is achieved in an effective and believable manner. I particularly enjoyed the personal aspects of Kella’s life, building his home in a unique manner that is in fact typical for his people….fascinating!

Rating: (^_°)    Intriguing
Notable sentence: “Later, when he owned too much land for one woman to maintain, he had taken a second wife.”
I had taken some time off from blogging but I enjoyed this book so much, I just had to write a review! And thanks again to Kerrie’s Global Reading Challenge!!! I would not have been asking about authors from unusual parts of the world without her challenge. In doing the challenge, I prefer to have the author to be from the country about which they are writing, versus just having researched or visited the country. Although Graeme Kent is British, he was head of BBC Schools broadcasting in the Solomon Islands for 8 years. This book is the first in the Kella and Conchita series, followed by “One Blood” and “Killman”. I look forward to reading the rest.

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