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Hell's Gate

Cover of Hell's Gate

Hell's Gate

Detective Mollel Series, Book 2

It must have been Otieno's idea of a joke. Too many offended egos back at headquarters, too many influential people unhappy with him in Nairobi. And yet, with his record, he was almost impossible to dismiss. So Otieno had sent Mollel straight to Hell.

When we first met Detective Mollel in Hour of the Red God, he was heralded as "a wonderfully complex and tragic protagonist" (Booklist), and Richard Crompton's novel called "spellbinding" (The Christian Science Monitor) and "a fantastic read" (The Plain Dealer [Cleveland]). Now Mollel returns in Hell's Gate, only this time the Maasai warrior-turned-detective has been banished from Nairobi, Kenya's bustling metropolis, to a small, fly-blown town on the edge of a national park. His career, he thinks, has taken a nosedive. His colleagues on the police force are a close-knit group and they have not taken kindly to a stranger in their midst. Mollel suspects they are guilty of the extortion and bribery that plague the force. But when the body of a flower worker turns up in the local lake, he begins to wonder if they might be involved in something even more disturbing.

For all is not as it seems in Hell's Gate. Amid rumors of a local death squad, disappearances, and blackmail, Mollel is forced not only to confront his Maasai heritage but also to ask himself where justice truly lies. In upholding the law, is he doing what is right? Crompton captures contemporary Kenya in all its complexity, and Hell's Gate is a captivating novel that you won't be able to put down.

It must have been Otieno's idea of a joke. Too many offended egos back at headquarters, too many influential people unhappy with him in Nairobi. And yet, with his record, he was almost impossible to dismiss. So Otieno had sent Mollel straight to Hell.

When we first met Detective Mollel in Hour of the Red God, he was heralded as "a wonderfully complex and tragic protagonist" (Booklist), and Richard Crompton's novel called "spellbinding" (The Christian Science Monitor) and "a fantastic read" (The Plain Dealer [Cleveland]). Now Mollel returns in Hell's Gate, only this time the Maasai warrior-turned-detective has been banished from Nairobi, Kenya's bustling metropolis, to a small, fly-blown town on the edge of a national park. His career, he thinks, has taken a nosedive. His colleagues on the police force are a close-knit group and they have not taken kindly to a stranger in their midst. Mollel suspects they are guilty of the extortion and bribery that plague the force. But when the body of a flower worker turns up in the local lake, he begins to wonder if they might be involved in something even more disturbing.

For all is not as it seems in Hell's Gate. Amid rumors of a local death squad, disappearances, and blackmail, Mollel is forced not only to confront his Maasai heritage but also to ask himself where justice truly lies. In upholding the law, is he doing what is right? Crompton captures contemporary Kenya in all its complexity, and Hell's Gate is a captivating novel that you won't be able to put down.

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About the Author-
  • Richard Crompton is a former BBC journalist and producer. He moved to East Africa several years ago with his wife, a human rights lawyer who worked on the Rwanda genocide trials. Crompton won the Daily Telegraph Short Story Award in 2010, and his first novel, Hour of the Red God, was published to great popular acclaim in 2013. He lives in Nairobi.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from April 20, 2015
    The jaw-dropping opening of Crompton’s outstanding second Detective Mollel novel (after 2013’s Hour of the Red God) finds the honest Nairobi cop, a Maasai, in prison, surrounded by hostile inmates. When the criminal who runs the prison, Mdosi, summons Mollel to his private room and asks why his men on the outside keep disappearing, their meeting ends in violence. A guard hears a disturbance and catches the detective red-handed, holding a bloody shard of glass and standing over Mdosi’s body. A flashback presents the events of the previous week. In doing his job too well by solving a prostitute’s murder, Mollel has outraged “some of the most powerful people in the city.” His boss demotes and transfers him, literally, to Hell, a small town near Kenya’s Hell’s Gate national park. Greeted with suspicion by the corrupt local police force, Mollel ends up on a twisted path that leads to his incarceration. Crompton effectively integrates Maasai culture into the absorbing plot. Agency: William Morris Endeavor (U.K.).

  • The Telegraph

    "[Crompton] has done something near-miraculous and made the figure of the incorruptible loner-detective fresh again."

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    Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Hell's Gate
Hell's Gate
Detective Mollel Series, Book 2
Richard Crompton
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