Missing millions, a gang of church leaders on the take, a charity founder on the hunt for her adopted sister, governors, gangsters, murder and mayhem.
Amaka is a force of nature. A woman who gets things done and whose rapid-fire conversation and confidence can trick a trickster and get her into trouble as fast as getting her out of trouble.
She founded a charity helping to rescue girls from the Nigerian streets and the traffickers working them and has forged a life-long bond with one of the girls, now her sister, Funke. Working against the sex trade in England, Amaka takes a phone call from the girl and immediately books a flight home to Lagos - because Funke witnessed a murder and is now in hiding.
Amaka must get her out of trouble and away before the people responsible learn she was there - as they would kill her if they knew what she had overheard. The fact that she is hiding under, and in, the sofa is a small matter. She will be there for 12 hours before Amaka can arrive home and hustle her away. Another small matter is that the murdered man is an elder of the church and married. And the hotel they have taken a room in is large and has active security staff.
Meanwhile we have met another grandee of the church and have been introduced to the many millions of laundered money that’s gone missing. Leye Adenle then throws in a private jet flight, more churchmen’s deaths, a few misunderstandings, the police (some crooked, some not), the Governor and his right hand man (who know Amaka and her requests for help from old), and several groups of violent and determined people who are after a share of the bounty and the story gallops off in a wonderfully tangled, chaotic and confusing chase.
Personally, I would love to see the time-lines drawn up by the author. These must have covered an entire wall, or even a room, such is the huge job of keeping track of all his characters and their shenanigans.
However, this is the joy of the book – the complete abandonment of protocol, legality, fair play and straight lines. I rejoiced in the chaos, and rooted for the heroine, who does things her way and knows how to play the system. What is never certain is who will come out on top and who will end up on the growing pile of bodies in this blackly humorous, fast-paced and hugely enjoyable romp.
Reviewed 29 April 2023 by
Kerry Hood has worked in publishing for many years and lived
in London for just as many, but suspects her heart is in the country.