darko dawson, cid accra

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“Yes, sir, D.I. Dawson, sir,” he said, with mock reference, before resuming his repose position. “We need to close some cases.”
“Maybe we would if you actually did some work.”
Chikata ignored the jab. “Can’t we get some confessions by beating up one or two suspects – like you did to that rapist when you were detective sergeant?”
Dawson swiveled in his chair. “Look, that’s not what happened, Chikata.”
“Sorry. Then tell me.”
“I caught the guy red-handed. He confessed. After I cuffed him, he said all little girls deserved to have his bulla up their totos, so I punched him in the face. That’s all.”
“Oh, I See. How many times did you punch him?”
Dawson shrugged. “I don’t remember exactly. Two, three times.”
“Three times at least, from what I heard. No disrespect, but I think your temper is too hot, Dawson. Why waste energy on a bleddyfool like that?”
“I’m not like you. Doesn’t anything ever upset you?”
“Oh, yah. Not getting enough sleep.”
“You would get some if you would go to bed by yourself every once in a while.”
Chikata began to laugh so hard he capsized his chair, at which point Dawson could not help himself and broke into laughter himself. Chikata recovered and restored the furniture.
“Anyway, you’d better solve something before my uncle transfers you to some bush village somewhere,” he said, only half jokingly.

from: Wife of the Gods

The Good Inspector from Accra

Darko Dawson is in his 30s, married with two children. He lives with his family in a nice modern house in a respectable neighborhood. When the series starts he is a detective inspector; then he is promoted to detective chief inspector.

Is it an easy life?

You’ve just learnt that he once punched a criminal in his face – more than once. As a fact during the novels violence at a police station seems commonplace in Ghana, although Darko backs off. He even tries to get colleagues charged when a suspect commits suicide after a beating. Darko struggles to be a good cop and to uncover the truth behind every crime and cruelty.

He once meets a street kid and decides to help him. His wife and he finally adopt the street kid which seems to be rather unusual in Ghana, a country with vast family structures which care about all members – anyhow. The street kid becomes their second child. The first son who was born with a cardiac defect, gets an operation after years of worrying sick. Of course a police inspector hasn’t got enough money for such an expensive surgery, but Darko has connections and is lucky.

Their family home is owned by an uncle of Darko’s wife who designed a special rent for them which they can afford. Otherwise their living would be muss less comfortable.

… and Darko lies smoking weed … secretly … provided by a criminal, a converted criminal with some legal business nowadays … providing also information for Darko … knowing about Darko’s leisure activity … (although Darko is busy stopping his weed affection!).

Is Darko corruptible?

I think Darko tries to be good and upright, however, he lives amid the Ghanaian society.

Ghana is a prospering county and especially Accra is one of the new metropoles of the world, a city enlarging from years to year – so fast that the infrastructure needs of the people are not met in full concerning paved lanes, transport, electricity …

Accra, Darko’s homebase, is home to modern industries, banking … whatever you may imagine in new skyscrapers. At the same time there are rich suburbs and slums, close to each other. When leaving the metropolitan area suddenly you’ll find yourself amid countryside with small cities and lots of tiny villages. Sometimes there is no water provisioning except for public wells where the women fill their pots and carry them home. Cooking is an open air affair in the courtyard, campfire like. However, you can be sure that everybody has its mobile phone, preferably of the newest generation.

Darko’s cases lead him into rich mansions in Accra as well as in run-down buildings. Crime is everywhere. Because of family relations sometimes he ends up in a small village: families have widespread structures in Ghana and are multifaceted.

Common grounds? There are religion and superstition everywhere. It doesn’t matter if people are rich and well educated or simply farmhands – all believe in … whatever. The concept of the witch is widespread and people are afraid of witches who are able to destroy love affairs, marriages, business dealings, job relations … If somebody thinks that a witch is active – or simply whenever somebody is ill – the next step is to consult a healer, some sort of magician with herbs and bones … sacrificing hens and splashing around with blood. Of course there are also doctors and medical aid and hospitals, but they are scarce and expensive. healers are everywhere – in vast estates as well as in humble huts.

Darko often finds himself in the jungle of superstition when investigating, which isn’t productive when trying to unveil murder mysteries. Even in his close family he had to learn that his mother-in-law, a respectable, well educated woman, once took her grandson to a traditional healer to help with his cardiac defect. Darko himself was stunned.

When reading the novels a lot seems familiar as if reading about a family in the Western Hemisphere and all the known problems of administration any police organization has to deal with. Amid all this well known life there is Ghana and its special life. If it’s the gap between the rich and the poor, if it’s the widespread superstition, if it’s the gap between modern internet life and the dusty fields in the countryside … if it’s the obviously common manner to eat with your fingers (a bowl filled with water aside for cleaning the fingers).

The cases … the cases are tangled and complex, although at first sight it seems obvious who might be the evildoer. At this point the rough interrogation of the suspect starts – at least when Darko is investigating all will be analyzed a little more deeper and suddenly a new view of the crime emerges.

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a faint cold fear thrills through my veins ... william shakespeare