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A ruthless killer, racking up multiple victims, stays one step ahead of a dogged Nigerian cop.

An explosion brings Police Detective Tamunoemi “Tammy” Peterside to the compound of Pius Okpara, a prominent politician in the National Conservative Party. Though two servants are killed and three seriously injured, Peterside notes wryly that the superficially injured Okpara gets the first ambulance to the hospital. Naomi Karibi, the state judge’s wife who lives across the street, gives a solid description of someone fleeing the scene. Because Okpara’s plan to run for the statehouse recently hit a snag when wealthy Dr. Vincent Puene stepped up to challenge him for their party’s nomination, Peterside naturally targets Puene as the prime suspect. When he questions Puene, the arrogant doctor speaks in sound bites and almost threatens to have him thrown out. Peterside and his scruffy sidekick Femi switch their focus to Puente’s sleazy lawyer, Howell Osamu. Soon after Mrs. Karibi appears on the news with her account of the bombing, she’s murdered. Similarly, after the getaway car is traced to Angus Sekibo, a retired teacher with a history of violence who matches Mrs. Karibi’s description, and he’s arrested, someone guns him down in the street. Peterside’s precinct bosses, who’ve been following Howell in connection with a big gang investigation, want Peterside to back off. But will he listen?

Ibe’s debut is a sleek police procedural anchored by an appealing hero, formulaic but refreshingly straightforward, and elevated considerably by its vivid portrait of modern Nigeria. A good foundation for the proposed series.

Pub Date: Aug. 3rd, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-312-58593-8
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2010