The Beast of Kukuyo is a gripping mystery told through the eyes of 15-year-old Rune Mathura and set in the 1990s.
The Beast of Kukuyo earned second place in the 2017 Burt Award for Caribbean Young Adult Literature. The novel also delves into issues of race, class and gender.
The gritty tale begins with the disappearance of Dumplin Heera, a fifteen year-old East Indian girl in the quiet rural village of Kukuyo. The murder happens while the town is plunged in darkness and the story unveils a deeper moral darkness festering beneath the surface. In part driven by her keen interest in crime fiction, particularly Murder She Wrote Rune decides that she has seen too much tragedy without redress. Having lost her mother in a senseless act of violence, Rune is unable to sit still when her classmate, Dumpling Heera is found dead in their village. Rune, an incredibly resourceful young woman, sees this as her chance to make a difference and dives headfirst into a swirling mess of secrets buried in the heart of her village. She bucks against the ease with which villagers try to get back to normal and get over the atrocity. But this is no Nancy Drew novel. Rune soon learns that despite her best intentions her eagerness to right this wrong leaves her almost blind to the truth, and the nuances that colour justice.