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Authors: Kwei Quartey

Tags: #Fiction, #Mystery & Detective, #International Mystery & Crime, #African American, #Police Procedural

Murder at Cape Three Points (42 page)

BOOK: Murder at Cape Three Points
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to the front of his father’s house on his new motorbike, parked, and went into the yard. A house girl he didn’t know was sweeping the front porch.

“Good morning,” Dawson said in Ga. “Is my father in?”

“Yes, please. He’s sleeping.”

Dawson went through the tiny, unkempt sitting room, thinking it needed some fresh air. He knocked softly on the bedroom door and slowly pushed it open.

Jacob was in bed, and the room was dark.


Jacob propped up on one elbow, and with some difficulty sat up and squinted through the dimness. “Who is that?”


“Has something happened? Is it Cairo?”

“No, everything is fine. I came to see you.”

“Oh,” he said brightly. “You are welcome. Sit down. How are you?”

“I’m fine,” Dawson replied, studying his father with curiosity. “Are you sick?”

“No, I was just resting.”

“Why do you have all the curtains drawn?”

He shrugged. “I don’t know.”

Dawson got to his feet again. “This is not good for you.”

He thrust aside the window curtains. As the light streamed in and he saw his father in full view, he was horrified by his profound weight loss. The man was melting away.

“Papa,” he said gently, “aren’t you eating?”

Jacob clicked his tongue resignedly. “Hunger doesn’t come anymore.”

“What about some
?” Dawson suggested. “You always liked that.”

Jacob grunted. “Maybe.”

“I’ll go and buy some for you, eh?” Dawson said. “And you can have your bath. Do you have water?”

“I think the girl filled some buckets yesternight. There’s none coming from the taps today.”

“I can get your bath ready, if you like.”

Jacob stood up a little unsteadily. “No, no, it’s all right. I can do it myself.”

“Okay,” Dawson said doubtfully. “Do you want
or some

Jacob grinned, and Dawson winced as he realized that his father had also lost a few teeth since the last he had seen him.

“You can have the
, and I’ll take the
,” he said, looking hard at Dawson as if he had just noticed something. “It seems you’re not so thin anymore. You have muscles now.”

Dawson laughed, pleased. What man didn’t want muscles? “Really?”

“Yes,” Jacob said with a grin. “Have you been doing some exercise?”

“A little. I try to play soccer on the weekends. Lift some weights too.”

“Oh, yeah. That’s good.”

“Okay, well, anyway,” Dawson said awkwardly, “go and have your bath and I’ll bring your breakfast.”

Jacob headed to the door, his gait wavering. Dawson moved protectively closer to him.

“Walking is not so easy for me these days,” Jacob complained.

“I’ll help you, Papa. I’m sorry I’ve been away from you so long.”

Jacob stopped and looked at Dawson with a smile. “A father never needs an apology from his son. He only needs his love.”

“It’s true, Papa,” he said, his eyes cast downward as he thought of Sly and Hosiah. He looked up again. “Here, hold on to me, and I’ll take you to the bathroom.”

Jacob leaned against him, and slow step after step, father and son walked together once again.


visual symbols originally created by the Akan of Ghana representing concepts or aphorisms. Often used in fabrics, pottery, logos, and advertising.

porridge made from slightly fermented corn dough.

a cultural figure in Ghanaian folklore taking the form of a spider that is variously cunning, wise, or foolhardy.

God, Lord (Fante).


Bra ha
Come here (Fante).

starchy tuberous root that can be roasted, boiled, or fried. Tapioca comes from

Ghanaian monetary unit, abbreviated GHS.

Fiber cement material used in building and roofing.

familiar and friendly term similar to buddy, pal, bro’, dude, etc.


language and people mainly in the southwestern regions of Ghana.

Floating, Production, Storage, and Offloading. A floating vessel used by the offshore industry for the processing of hydrocarbons and storage of oil.

starchy food such as plantain or
pounded and moistened into a soft, glutinous mass.

Language and people of southeastern Ghana in and around the capital, Accra.

used loosely to refer to magical beliefs, witchcraft, spells, supernatural powers and the ascribing of such powers to objects (fetishes).

spicy cubes of ripe plantain deep-fried till crispy.

fermented corn meal.

a musical instrument in the lamellophone family with staggered lengths of narrow pieces of metal mounted on a wooden soundboard.

: please.

White person or more broadly, a Westerner.

Please (Ga).

very much, too much.

An argument, or trouble arising from an argument (corruption of
, from Portuguese
, talk)

= 1

Internet fraud.

Abbreviated form of Takoradi, third largest city in Ghana (informal).

Tea bread:
white bread with a hint of sugar.

Tom Brown:
a porridge made from roasted corn flour.

Van or minivan used for public transportation.



is ultimately a solitary endeavor, an author must often reach out to others for help. In writing this work, I first owe a large debt of gratitude to Well Engineering Supervisor Fraser Lawson of Tullow Oil, Ghana. Without his tireless assistance, I would not have been able to describe the oil rig scenes and related technical details in the novel. Thanks to George Cazenove and Gayheart Mensah of Tullow for giving me the go-ahead to get in touch with Mr. Lawson. It should be noted, however, that the entirely fictional oil company Magnum Oil, its activities, and the fictional operations with government officials in this novel are no reflection whatsoever on Tullow Oil.

I’m grateful to Chief Superintendent James Kofi Abraham of the Ghana Police Service (GPS) in Sekondi-Takoradi for taking time out of his work to explain how police procedures and investigations are organized in his city.

As always, many thanks to my friend Detective Lance Corporal Antwi Boasiako of the Criminal Investigations Department, Accra. He has consistently assisted me in navigating the GPS and making the right contacts.

Rear Admiral Sampa Nuno, Chief of Ghana Naval Staff, helped me with technical aspects of sailing in and navigation of the Gulf of Guinea.

I thank Peter Baah, my driver while in Takoradi, for giving me the benefit of his thorough knowledge of his hometown.

Thanks also to L. Renée Dankerlink for providing me with information on the Roko Frimpong murder case in Ghana, on which some details of this novel were based.

To editor Judy Sternlight, heartfelt thanks are rendered for her perceptiveness and insight. To my Soho Crime editor, Juliet Grames, a big thank you for warmly welcoming Darko Dawson and me to the Soho family.

BOOK: Murder at Cape Three Points
3.77Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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