Ahmed’s Revenge : A Book Review

Ahmed’s Revenge : A Book Review

Travel to Kenya in this mystery by Richard Wiley. A guest review by Jane Davis.

A guest review by Jane Davis.

Kenya, Africa congers up visions of dry savanna, lush ranches, Masai Tribesmen, and adventure. Richard Wiley, a former resident of Kenya, offers us a mystery set in that country. He is at once sensitive to the countryside, to the racial atmosphere, and to the development of a good storyline.

In Ahmed's Revenge , Wiley’s main character is Nora Grant. She and her husband Julius are Kenyans. They are European-descended farmers whose white skin is, interestingly, not an element of the story, or is it? It seems that Julius is shot under strange circumstances, much as a young elephant calf is also killed under equally strange circumstances. Yet, the animal is innocent, and Julius is not. Or is he? There seems to be some question about his relationship to the illegal ivory that figures in the tale. Could Julius, a rancher and staunch opponent of poaching have been a trader in illegal ivory himself?

Such are the questions Detective Mubia must resolve. He investigates Mr. N’chele and his son, called Mr. Smith. Both knew and dealt with Julius, and both had reason to despise him. Both, however, represent a world that is on the periphery of Nora’s, for they are black Africans. Race, again, plays no role, apparently. Yet there is a mysterious past that links N’chele to Julius. Perhaps that is the key to the story.

Of course, as with most mysteries, there is a desperate confrontation around a raging fire. Smith and his fellow tribesmen seem to reveal their guilt as they try to wrench secrets from Nora. The investigation seems open and shut, but a final ironic twist awaits the reader at an astonishing rendition of Madame Butterfly, when revenge for the elephant named Ahmed is finally decided, and not in any way you can guess.

Read an interview with author Richard Wiley.

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