Read The World — Tail of the Blue Bird by Nii Ayikwei Parkes

Jo Reason
3 min readDec 22, 2020


Country 10. Ghana. blurb from goodreads, please scroll down for my review.

Sonokrom, a village in the Ghanaian hinterland, has not changed for thousands of years. Here, the men and women speak the language of the forest, drink aphrodisiacs with their palm wine and walk alongside the spirits of their ancestors. The discovery of sinister remains; possibly human, definitely ‘evil’; in a vanished man’s hut brings the modern world into the village in the form of Kayo; a young forensic pathologist convinced that scientific logic can shatter even the most inexplicable of mysteries.

But as events in the village become more and more incomprehensible, Kayo and his sidekick, Constable Garba, find that Western logic and political bureaucracy are no longer equal to the task in hand. Strange boys wandering in the forest, ghostly music in the night and a flock of birds that come from far away to fill the desolate hut with discarded feathers take the newcomers into a world where, in the unknown, they discover a higher truth that leaves scientific explanations far behind.

Tail of the Bluebird is a story of the mystical heart of Africa, of the clash and clasp between old and new worlds. Lyrically beautiful, at once uncanny and heart-warmingly human, this is a story that tells us that at the heart of modern man there remains the capacity to know the unknowable.

My Review

Kayo, a young forensic scientist is forced to investigate the remains of something unknown and possibly evil in a northern tribal village of Ghana.While he is investigating this mystery he learns more about his country and himself.

The point of view changes from a local man, Opanyin Poku, a hunter, in the tribe where most of the excitement takes place and Kayo, a young forensic scientist.

I did enjoy Kayo’s character, a name given to him while studying in London, his real name is Kwadwo Okai Odamtten is well described a little lost as he finds it difficult to make his dream come true, which is to work in the police force as a forensic scientist, but it is not all his fault as the corruption in the country is also limiting his future. All the characters felt real, lovely character development, I particularly enjoyed the story telling from the tribal people.

Wonderful descriptions of the tribal areas of Ghana, and I also enjoyed the Kayo’s journey from work to home, the author does a good job at describing the sights, traffic, smells and details.

There is a superb integration of the two worlds, one, the forensic scientist Kayo, from the capital Accra, and the other, the tribal world in the northern part of Ghana.

I really enjoyed this book, partly because of the different worlds, but I found there were parts that were not complete, I felt that there were some parts that needed some more explanation. I found the ending a little open for my liking, almost like the author didn’t know how to finish.

I can recommend this book for people who enjoy reading about african countries, mystery, and tribal life.

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Tail of the Blue Bird Nii Ayikwei Parkes

Originally published at on December 22, 2020.



Jo Reason

Photographer and web designer from the UK but living in Ecuador, spending as much time as I can reading and reviewing books. Stock photography of Ecuador