The New Year has ushered in the latest highly anticipated second Emma Djan novel, SLEEP WELL MY LADY, by Kwei Quartey.
Having read the previous novel, THE MISSING AMERICAN, I can understand why this second book has landed on so many “Most Anticipated” lists. Since my initial review of the book it has become a 2020 Edgar Allan Poe award nominee. So yeah, I am not the only one who was impressed!
Kwei Quartey has a rather fascinating background. He has been a full time writer since 2018 after retiring from a 20 year career as a medical doctor. Let me just point out that this reaches far beyond black excellence and into just human excellence and I love it.
But back to Dr. Quartey… he is also unique in that he has the background of a dual citizen. He is the child of a Black American woman and a Ghanaian father. Ghana is a land in which he lived during his formative years. His perspective on Ghana is bound to be unique and authentic- as is his writing.
I have raved about the cover of this book since the moment I laid my eyes on it. I have not fully gone to the point of judging books by their covers, but I am admittedly just on the edge.
I found it rather fitting that a novel in which the concept of beauty is central tackles things that are so very ugly that even the darkest shadow cannot cover it.
We are introduced to Lady Araba through horrific scenes depicted of her childhood. She has grown up in a very religious family with a hypocritical father and a mother who willingly turns a blind eye to the evil abuse inflicted upon her child. Yet despite, or in spite of, all she has endured Araba goes on to become an extremely successful fashion designer.
And still her life is pretty awful in my opinion. She goes on to become involved with a well known married television reporter, Augustus Caesar, with whom she begins a doomed affair. He is separated from his wife and his career has taken a downturn due to his alcoholism. His relationship with Araba is very unhealthy and together they face a ton of people that are against them being together including his wife, their families and even the Ghanian online gossip community.
It is no surprise that he would be a person of interest when Araba is discovered viciously murdered in her mansion on the day of her big fashion show.
To say all that glitters isn’t gold is an absolute understatement. And this book is a perfect example. A massive house that holds massive secrets. A pious family full of hypocrisy. A charmed life for the world to see belies a choked silence that stifles a haunted past. Yeah. It’s a wonderful mess before you even get to the murder part!
Corruption is a dark undercurrent in this novel. It happens in every nation. Seeing it depicted as a challenge within this investigation was a hard pill to swallow. But it made me grateful for the integrity held by Emma Djan and her team.
Speaking of team I was really able to warm up to them. The narrative was shared among the various members of the private eye firm, Emma being the singular female voice. As the investigators personalities were fleshed out it made me really look forward to seeing them in action in future stories.
But of course my heart is still with Emma. I will always want more of her point of view and more details about her budding romance with Courage- he brings a smile to my face. Cheers to her future with the agency and her growth as a private investigator.
Many thanks to the author for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I am not sure when the next book will be released but fingers crossed that there are more to come.
Stay tuned for future reviews of books from this author. I plan on covering some of his first books here on the blog in the future. Make sure to subscribe for alerts.