Sergeant Molly Power is on duty when the call comes in. A young African man has been attacked and left for dead in the countryside. His leg was amputated, but he managed to get to the house of a farmer, although he’ll die in the hospital later that night from massive blood loss.
The nature of the murder is puzzling. The mortician concludes that the leg was removed by a professional, under anesthetic, which makes it unlikely that the amputation was an act of racism. However, the postoperative treatment was sloppy and could have been done better by a Boy Scout.
The dead man was a young African immigrant called Shad who owned a restaurant in the “Little Africa” neighborhood of Dublin. He was loved by all who knew him, especially by his younger brother, Jude. As Irish police officers Molly Power, Jim Quilligan, and Denis Lennon make their investigations, Jude and a young orphan boy, Pita, do their own work to bring Shad’s killer to justice.
Andrew Nugent spent several years as a missionary on the “dark continent,” in which he developed an understanding and admiration for the people of Africa. He brings that insight, as well as his delightful Irish humor, to an intriguing crime novel that trumpets the shared humanity among very different and sometimes clashing cultures.