Book Review: The Lupane Legacy (Joshua Denham and Devon Kerr #1)


Author: Darby G. Holladay
Release Date: September 1, 2014
Series: A Joshua Denham and Devon Kerr
Genre: Thriller | Mystery | Fiction | Political
Edition: mobi
Pages: 3441 (kindle)
Publisher: Manor Minor Press 
Source: NetGalley


In 1983 Patrick Khumalo, out gathering firewood for his mother, sees his entire village in rural Zimbabwe massacred. A family of white Rhodesian settlers take him in and raise him as their own. Twenty-nine years later he sends an urgent message to their daughter Constance, once his playmate and now a classical violinist living in Austria.

On the other side of the world, in Washington, DC, Joshua Denham is at an Austrian Embassy function to see his cousin Constance perform. As the first note is struck, the woman who’s haunted his thoughts for the past year—a private banker he last saw in Kyrgyzstan—sits down at the end of his row. New possibilities fill his mind . . . but Devon isn’t quite what she seems.

Constance is acting strangely, too. Her abrupt disappearance is followed by a desperate call from her estranged father Roger, begging for Joshua’s help: Constance is in deep trouble. Joshua, Devon, and Roger must track her down to an abandoned farmhouse in Zimbabwe’s Lupane District, and to an explosive reckoning with the ghosts of the Rhodesian Bush War.

The Lupane Legacy is a story of tangled family ties, of the long shadow of history, of revenge, betrayal, and redemption, and of two people finding a new beginning.




Plot | Story

This story is set in 2012 but a good part of it revolves around events that took place in 1983. It includes a lot of political schemes and scandals, which are quite hard to digest for a non-political reader like myself, but surprisingly I liked it a lot. I was engrossed in reading right from the start to end. It has a fair amount of twists and turns that keeps the reader guessing. The pace of the story is subtle if not slow and it served well given the complexity of some elements.


The characterisation lacked depth. they felt quite flat and incomplete. I had a hard time connecting to even a single character. Most of the focus being on the plot, the author gave less importance to building the characters (which was quite unexpected-in a bad way!) At some point I started wondering if I missed a prequel to this one in which the characters were made familiar to the reader, but sadly that’s not the case! I’m glad that the author chose to write this book in multiple POVs as it really helped me understand each and every individual’s motive better (otherwise it would have been a total miss!)

The only character I came close to liking was Constance (and not the leads and now that is simply unacceptable!)


As this is the first part in the series, it featured the beginning of Joshua and Devon’s relationship. And the way I see it, they have a long way ahead of them. Devon’s investigating behaviour was quite weird from the start and frankly I just can’t understand how such a learned and smart guy like Joshua didn’t see it that way! Well, this is all the romance one can see in The Lupane Legacy.


The writing is very simple and engrossing. I really, really liked it because it made a fairly complex plot quite understandable for a person like me, who knows nothing about American- African history. Most of the concepts were explained well, except for some teeny-tiny loopholes. But as this book will have a sequel that is totally understandable, as long as they get cleared up in the next part.


I would define the beginning as very subtle. It was perfect given the seriousness of the plot. It gives a fair idea of what’sto be expected from the rest of the book.


The end wasn’t one that will keep you on the edge but it ended pretty much summing up everything and so this book can also be read as a stand alone novel. I also felt that the very last part of the book was a bit of a slog, with constance making food as a way to cope and Joshua watching her while doing so, for God knows what! (bye-bye another half a star! o.O)

Cover Art

The seriousness that you can see in the cover art goes perfectly with the theme of the book.


The blurb is Spot-On! Explains the book perfectly and also tells a great deal about the characters.

Other Stuff

Opening line: “Patrick Khumalo was gathering firewood when he noticed the plume of dust to the east, along the track that passed for a road to his village.”

Highlights: Simple yet effective writing and a great plot.

Lowlights: Flat characterisation.

Memorable Quotes:

“It is time to change when it gets old.”

Memorable Paragraphs:

“The conversation during lunch had been broad, not surprising for four persons who knew about the world. Topics began and changed without warning. The one topic they did not discuss was the farmhouse, but that was not a surprise. Even Devan and Joshua spoke, but always within the context of discussion.”

Final Thoughts: A fairly good read!

Related photo on My Instagram:

FTC Disclaimer
I do not accept any form of payment for the reviews I write or the other content I post. Books received from Authors & Publishers are designated as such. Receiving books from Authors/Publishers, in no way affects my review as it is my own opinion.


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