A fast moving and enjoyable urban-slum-fantasy-detective story set in a South Africa. The conceit here is that particularly heinous acts (e.g. most murders) result in A) a sort of karmic blackness that will quickly devour a person, leaving only a dark stain on the pavement B) an animal familiar, who will keep the karma at bay so long as the animal is alive and close by, and C) some random, minor magical power. Unsurprisingly, the animalled are heavily discriminated against and for the most part have to live in their own slums. In the case of the protagonist, her power is being able to feel the threads from people to their lost things, and vice versa.
I'm not usually a fan of detective stories, but this one actually appealed to me. The story moves quickly, and the South African magic system was appealingly unfamiliar. I was also a big fan of the protagonist, her spunky sloth, and their continual antagonizing of people. I like to think of her as the protagonist of _Random Acts of Senseless Violence_ except all grown up. :)