Blood is Dirt
Robert Wilson
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Buy *Blood is Dirt* online

Blood is Dirt
Robert Wilson
Harvest Books
320 pages
July 2004
rated 3 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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West Africa, especially on the coast where private investigator Bruce Medway does his business, is the Wild West fast-forwarded to a futurescape scraped raw by poverty and rapidly advancing ecological disaster. On the average life is worthless, but thereís money to be made on every illegitimate enterprise known to mankind. All this is familiar to Medway in his line of work. This time he tackles toxic waste disposal, black market nuclear weapons, money scams, Mafia killings, bribery of government officials and assorted thugs who delight in a little obscene torture before murder.

The third in Wilsonís West Africa/Medway detective series, this latest effort offers up enough villains, creeps and criminals to intimidate all but the faint of heart. The intrepid P.I. slogs through the criminal underbelly of the African coast, especially the spoilers and exploiters who live to plunder the unwary, where the contrast between the elite, ultra-rich power brokers and those who struggle to survive day to day is stunning. An enormous chasm runs between the classes, exposing corruption in the pursuit of power.

Bruce Medway has set up a new, if humble, office on the coast of West Africa, with the former Inspector Bagado as a new partner - at least temporarily. The new digs are shabby, but the office is open for business. A potential client, Napier Briggs, must navigate a gore-drenched neighborhood sheep-gutting that almost puts him off, but Medway is desperate for the money. The sage Bagado, familiar from previous books, has serious misgivings about the legality of Biggs' business affairs.

At the same time, the investigators are optioned to check into a possible toxic waste dump operating in Nigeria, a task that proves both formidable and dangerous. When Napier Biggs turns up dead, Medway is hired by the only surviving relative, a daughter, who wants to get to the bottom of the murder and recover her father's money. As luck would have it, both the toxic waste operation and Napier's missing money are connected. Unfortunately, Medway is on his own when Inspector Bagado is tapped for duty on the force again. In the unraveling of complications Medway skates along the edge of danger.

Wilson seduces with a plunge into the dark heart of violence, where conscience has no purchase; yet the often naive Medway dodges through shadows the smirking face of the Grim Reaper. With no shortage of stories or schemes on the African continent, Wilson proves, once again, that his witty hero loves this place in spite of the pitfalls, always ready for a new adventure and eager to make a buck. Never a disappointment, the author has created a mystery genre all his own: African Noir.

Click here for Luan Gaines' first interview with Blood is Dirt author Robert Wilson

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Click here for Luan Gaines' third interview with Blood is Dirt author Robert Wilson

© 2004 by Luan Gaines for Curled Up With a Good Book

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