It is a fortunate event when hyenas only partially consume a discarded body. At least, we are told as much amidst the imagery of yellow bones, bloody eye sockets, and the stench of rotting flesh that opens the appropriately named A Carrion of Death. But this makes sense since the more that's consumed, the less evidence there is to investigate, as the morbidly obese Detective Kubu reasons. What follows is a modern-day African thriller, where globalization and tribal culture simultaneously clash and coexist, where poachers and diamond hunters cavort about the continent like pirates in the wake of apartheid, and the tourism industry booms thanks to oblivious travelers. This is the first writing effort between coauthors Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip, writing under the pseudonym Michael Stanley. Together they fuse a playful wit with gruesome tidbits, as well as a flair for surrounding details that could only be penned by natives. Both originally from South Africa, Sears teaches in Johannesburg while Trollip splits his time between South Africa and Minnesota. They'll both be on hand tonight to discuss the collaboration, and plans to pen a second novel.
Tue., April 1, 7 p.m., 2008