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One Blood
A Sister Conchita and Sergeant Kella Mystery - Book II
G W Kent

Robinson (Constable & Robinson)
7 June 2012 / ISBN: 9781849013413
Historical Mystery / 1960 / Solomon Islands
Amazon US - UK

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde

Sergeant Ben Kella and Sister Conchita are back for a second adventure in this innovative and intelligent series. Conchita is now living in the rather primitive Western District at a mission with three elderly nuns. When an American tourist dies in a rather spectacular way at their open day, she is keen for Kella to investigate, but the authorities don't seem keen for anybody to do this. Instead the pair have to discover why some of the Americans are digging into what happened when soon-to-be-president John F Kennedy was rescued during the war, and what is just so terrible about it all that people are willing to go to any lengths to find out.

Readers of my reviews will know I am always impressed by an author who tries to do something different, and books set in the Solomon Islands in 1960 would appear to satisfy on two counts. But what else do they have to offer the reader apart from originality? A way into a wholly different and exotic world where the old ways were reluctantly giving way to the new and the problems faced by both the white Colonials and the native inhabitants. This is a beautifully delineated tale of a place hovering on the threshold of modernity, yet still engaging in traditions stretching back into the past. So far I am making it sound like a TV documentary, which is not my intention (although if it was it would be a good one) as there is also a fairly involved and thought-provoking plot. We can see the seeds for modern problems being sown too as Kella has to look into problems at the logging camp, and gives an all too familiar picture of a place devastated by man's greed and disregard for a fragile environment. There is a lot in here considering it is quite a short novel, and having to wait a whole year until the next one seems a long time indeed. All I can say is if the reading public doesn't like this series, they don't deserve it. The best thing I have read this year so far.

Reviews of other titles in this series


Reviewed 2012