Sunday, May 5, 2013
Footprints in Water, by Twist Phelan
Twist Phelan juggles quite a lot of balls in this story and keeps them flying pretty flawlessly, I think.
Henri Karubje is a detective in the NYPD and he is called out to help investigate the missing daughter of a Congolese family. The relationships between the people, and with their medicine man, neighbors, and priest, are complicated to say the least.
Tangling the matter further is that Karubje is not their as investigator, but as translator. The lead detective is a newly promoted woman he has worked with when she was on patrol. The cliche here would be to have them in territorial conflict but Phelan chooses instead to have the new detective looking for more help while Karubje insists on making/letting her run the show.
Karubje is haunted by his childhood in the genocidal conflict of Rwanda and he makes good use of his memories of that horror to sort out the motives and inconsistencies of the characters.
Definitely worth a read.