Treachery in the Yard
Minotaur, Aug 3 2010, $22.99
In Government Reservation Area II, Port Harcourt, Nigeria, the bomb devastates the home and garage of affluent Pius Okpara, who is running against Dr. Vincent Puene for the National Conservative’s Party’s nomination for governor of Rivers State. Outside of the property damage, no one is hurt. Neighbor Mrs. Naomi Karibi, wife of a judge and mom of three, may have seen the culprits as she describes to the police on the scene.
Homicide Detective Tamunoemi Peterside leads the official investigation that soon turns from a bombing to murder when Mrs. Karibi is killed. As his superiors intrude on Peterside’s inquiry, other potential witnesses are also murdered.
Although not as deep as the Botswana mysteries (see Alexander McCall Smith’s The Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency and Michael Stanley’s Detective Kubu), the first Peterside Nigerian police procedural is an interesting tale. Action-packed as the murder count rises alarmingly fast, Adimchinma Ibe makes a case that corruption intrudes on good police work. Although more insight into Nigeria is needed and less of a Perry Mason climax, fans of African police procedurals will enjoy the first Detective Peterside investigation.