Reviewer Steve Moore: Steve is a full-time writer and ex-scientist. Besides his many technical publications, he has written six sci-fi thrillers (one a novel for young adults), many short stories, and frequent comments on writing and the digital revolution in publishing. His interests also include physics, mathematics, genetics, robotics, forensics, and scientific ethics. Follow Here for his WEBSITE.
Author: Damien Dsoul
Author: Damien Dsoul
First, the positives. This is one hell of a story. The plot is suspenseful and the characters are complex and well drawn. I thoroughly enjoyed it and can recommend it to anyone interested in mysteries, thrillers, and suspense novels, with one caveat I add at the end of this review.
Although technically a setting, Nigeria, the country, is one of the main characters. I learned more about it in this book than in the sum total of many non-fiction books on modern Africa I’ve read. Like all good characters, Nigeria is complex, and the author, a Nigerian, captures this complexity well.
While Nigeria is the general character, the specific characters are also interesting. The protagonist, Kingsley Azobi, is an ex-member of a gang and ex-gun-runner in his youth, but he becomes reformed and joins the Nigerian middle class. He’s a successful real estate agent now and has a lawyer wife, Hillary, and two children. But his past comes back to haunt him as his old gang, now morphed into a group of violent anti-government militants, asks him to provide weapons for their cause. One motivation for King, as he’s called, is to erase a huge debt incurred from a real estate deal gone sour.
Lurking behind the scenes is the British government, represented by the MI6 agent Lionel Parrish, aka the Rabbit, who starts jerking King’s puppet-strings. The Brits finance the gun deal for unclear reasons ab initio. King, torn between his old gang members’ demands and Parrish’s, must figure out the best path for his own salvation. Adding to his distress is police detective Toji Oguavor, who suspects King and causes King’s wife to leave him after the detective tells her about King’s troubled youth.
No spoilers here—I won’t go into plot details any further. The author does a nimble job of throwing up roadblocks for King that make his salvation seem like a hopeless goal. This is the thriller part, the suspense. The mystery lies in why all this is happening. This is top-notch plotting. Often, as a writer, I can predict outcomes. Here I was able to just sit back and enjoy the story.
However, caveat emptor: there’s a mixture of errors, typos, and regional slang here. I had trouble determining which is which, but I had no trouble gliding by most of them to enjoy a very interesting story. You must take this book to be a diamond in the rough. If you’re a reader who insists on near-perfect English when that language is probably not the writer’s maternal tongue, you’re forewarned. But you’ll be missing an entertaining and suspenseful story in a setting that will expand your horizons to a far continent that no longer sleeps. Part of one of my novels is set in Africa. This novel is the real thing.