Excerpt from Hour of the Red God by Richard Crompton, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Hour of the Red God

A Detective Mollel Novel

by Richard Crompton

Hour of the Red God by Richard Crompton X
Hour of the Red God by Richard Crompton
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Apr 2013, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2014, 304 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Elena Spagnolie

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


His opponent laughs, and a roar of approval comes from the crowd. No partisans, these. Mollel feels his head jerked from side to side, up and down. There is nothing he can do.

—I have you now, Maasai. The thief laughs.

He has put his thumbs through Mollel's earlobes.

*   *   *

The bane of his life, those earlobes. Long and looped, the flesh stretched since childhood to fall below his jawline, the i-maroro are a mark of pride and warriorhood within Maasai circles, but an object of ridicule and prejudice elsewhere. He knows many Maasai who have had the loops removed, but somehow the stumps sing of regret to him, and their ears seem just as conspicuous as his own.

One advantage, though: no one is going to grab them by the ears. The bystanders are convulsed in near-hysterical laughter; he can expect no help from that quarter. They have never seen a policeman led by his ears, like a bull with a ring through his nose. Even the thief, his face now leering at arm's length, seems hardly able to believe his luck.

—All right, so this is what we're going to do, Maasai, he says. We're going to walk together, slowly, out onto K Street. I'm not going to rip your pretty ears off. And you're not going to come after me. If you've got it, nod your head. Oh, I'm sorry, you can't, can you? Would you like me to nod it for you? Yeah, that's right!

Quite a comedian, this one, thinks Mollel as his head is tugged up and down. The thief enjoys the audience. He even swaggers somewhat as he holds the policeman captive—glancing at the crowd, relishing his moment of fame. Let him, thinks Mollel. Means he won't be ready for what I'm about to do.

What he does—brutally, swiftly—evinces a sympathetic groan from all the men in the watching crowd. They have no illusions about what a size-ten police-issue steel-capped boot can achieve when brought into such intimate contact with its target.

Almost tenderly, the thief lets go of Mollel's ears. His eyes look into the policeman's with a look of heartbreak and agony. This time, Mollel knows he'll have no problems bringing him in.

Excerpted from Hour of the Red God by Richard Crompton. Copyright © 2013 by Richard Crompton. Excerpted by permission of Farrar, Straus & Giroux. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  The Maasai People

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: Killers of the Flower Moon
    Killers of the Flower Moon
    by David Grann
    Voted 2017 Best Nonfiction by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    The long, sorrowful list of injustices done ...
  • Book Jacket: The Dry
    The Dry
    by Jane Harper
    Voted 2017 Best Debut Novel by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    After receiving a letter from his childhood...
  • Book Jacket: Little Fires Everywhere
    Little Fires Everywhere
    by Celeste Ng
    Voted 2017 Best Fiction by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    Small towns, big drama. Acclaimed author ...
  • Book Jacket: La Belle Sauvage
    La Belle Sauvage
    by Philip Pullman
    Voted 2017 Best Young Adult Novel by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    I wasn't quite sure what to expect ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund

"Electrifying . . . as beautiful and as icy as the Minnesota woods where it's set."
—NPR

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Story of Arthur Truluv
    by Elizabeth Berg

    An emotionally powerful novel from New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Berg.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Autumn

Autumn by Ali Smith

One of the New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year, and a Man Booker Prize Finalist

Enter

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay: $400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.