The Missing American

Publisher Soho Press, 20120

Introducing a new series set in West Africa, by critically acclaimed author Kwei Quartey.

When her dreams of investigating homicides like her revered late father crash around her, 26 year old Emma Djan is unsure what will become of her life in Accra, the bustling heart of Ghana. Through a sympathetic former colleague, Emma gets an interview with a private detective agency tracking down missing persons, thefts, and marital infidelities. It’s not the future she imagined, but it’s better than the alternatives.

Meanwhile, Gordon Tilson, a middle-aged widower in Washington, DC, has found solace in an online community. Through the group, he’s even met a young Ghanaian widow he really cares about–and when her sister gets into a car accident, he sends her thousands of dollars to cover the hospital bill, to the horror of his only son, Derek. When Gordon runs off to Ghana to surprise the love of his life and disappears, Derek chases after him, fearing for his father’s life.

The case of the missing American man will drag both Emma and Derek into a world of sakawa scams, fetish priests, and those willing to keep things secret through death.

“Mr. Quartey combines African internet scams, a menacing juju priest and political corruption with a cast of unforgettable characters, led by the formidable young Emma, who could easily become my favorite new detective. The sounds, sights, troubles and aspirations of modern-day Ghana are revealed with an unsparing eye and an understanding heart.”
—Michael Sears, Edgar Award–winning author of the Jason Stafford series

“In this twisty page-turner featuring an appealing new protagonist, Kwei Quartey delves into the dark domain of the Ghanaian internet fraudsters. The ‘sakawa boys’ play their victims like game fish, but they are only part of a vicious web of corruption and witchcraft that reaches all the way to the top. Rich with the colors of Ghana, this is great Sunshine Noir.”
—Michael Stanley, author of the award–winning Detective Kubu novels

The Missing American is diabolically plotted and elegantly written. An atmospheric, heart-pounding mystery that just may be Quartey’s best—and that’s saying a lot.”
—Stephen Mack Jones, Nero Prize and Hammett Award–winning author of the August Snow thrillers

The Missing American