Mysteries and thrillers set in Africa that are as good as Kwei Quartey’s are remarkably rare ... It’s Kwei Quartey, though, with his mysteries set in Ghana, who has been regularly bringing a part of the African continent authentically and strikingly to life ... a gem of a debut ... In addition to being suspenseful, The Missing American is wonderfully atmospheric, with people speaking mostly colloquial English, but also pidgin English and local dialects. Quartey has helpfully added a glossary.
Fans of Quartey’s Darko Dawson series ready for another armchair visit to Ghana will be pleased to meet Emma Djan, introduced here in the same riveting blend of mystery and literary travel guide ... There is an amazing force to be reckoned with behind her veil of politeness, and readers will want to hear more from Emma. Unlike Mma Ramotswe in McCall Smith’s celebrated series, Emma experiences violence and encounters dangerous criminals, but, like her Botswanan sister, she is driven by a determination to honor her late father and is surrounded by an equally appealing cast of characters.
... the first of what hopefully will be a long-running series ... Anyone with more than a passing interest in the world of internet scamming must read The Missing American, with its extremely realistic heroine and unblinking assessment of cultural similarities and differences between the United States and Ghana. I also must give a tip of the fedora to Quartey and his publisher, Soho Crime, for the book’s extensive glossary for those of us interested in broadening our vocabularies. Well played, and strongly recommended.