Nairobi Heat (Melville International Crime)

Nairobi Heat - Mukoma wa Ngugi Fast-paced and loosely constructed, but with an engaging and interesting plot, Nairobi Heat follows police detective Ishmael as he investigates the murder of a young white woman who holds mysterious ties to Kenya. As an African-American visiting the continent for the first time, Ishmael's journey to Africa reveals the gaps in his understanding of black politics outside America, race relations within his own country, and his own sense of place within the law, bringing the potential for massive change to the life of a man who had been rifling through Madison looking for answers the area didn't seem to allow. Excellent secondary characters make Nairobi's lopsided "equality" come to life, and the larger conflicts behind the case are focused on individuals, avoiding broad strokes of political and popular righteousness, and acknowledging that anyone can become tainted by immorality, even when their actions seem just. A quick read, but with an ending that that will please Nguigi's soon-to-follow fans.