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Socrates Mbamalu

When you are done reading Easy Motion Tourist by Leye Adenle, you end up thinking of books such as The Black Temple, Mark of the Cobra, The Blackmailers, The Betrayer, in short you are reminded of the Pacesetters Series novels that once dominated the market all the way from Nigeria to Kenya. Leye Adenle attempts to reduplicate such an effort in his crime novel and he does a good job of gripping the reader all through to the last sentence.
In what becomes a story about Lagos, its prostitutes and its rich and powerful, there is a white man (so many white men are appearing in Lagos nowadays albeit this one doesn’t have a blackass). Guy Collins, a British journalist comes to Lagos to cover the elections for his media outfit, obviously hopeful that there would be something to report (if elections don’t go smoothly), but between the period the elections would start and the period he is in Lagos, he finds himself in a sort of conundrum, a witness to a horrid killing. A girl, who happens to be a prostitute, has her two breasts slashed and her heart removed. Guy Collins is picked up as a suspect.
Amaka who works for Street Samaritans is in the business of keeping the call girls on the street safe, as well as helping those interested out of their predicament. She understands that in as much as prostitution is illegal, it is a choice when there are no options. But in the process of keeping th ...

When you are done reading Easy Motion Tourist by Leye Adenle, you end up thinking of books such as The Black Temple, Mark of the Cobra, The Blackmailers, The Betrayer, in short you are reminded of the Pacesetters Series novels that once dominated the market all the way from Nigeria to Kenya. Leye Adenle attempts to reduplicate such an effort in his crime novel and he does a good job of gripping the reader all through to the last sentence.
In what becomes a story about Lagos, its prostitutes and its rich and powerful, there is a white man (so many white men are appearing in Lagos nowadays albeit this one doesn’t have a blackass). Guy Collins, a British journalist comes to Lagos to cover the elections for his media outfit, obviously hopeful that there would be something to report (if elections don’t go smoothly), but between the period the elections would start and the period he is in Lagos, he finds himself in a sort of conundrum, a witness to a horrid killing. A girl, who happens to be a prostitute, has her two breasts slashed and her heart removed. Guy Collins is picked up as a suspect.
Amaka who works for Street Samaritans is in the business of keeping the call girls on the street safe, as well as helping those interested out of their predicament. She understands that in as much as prostitution is illegal, it is a choice when there are no options. But in the process of keeping the girls safe, she has built a list of the rich and powerful that are involved in picking up these call girls, as well as those that are paedophiles. When the incident of the killing takes place, she is informed that a white man was picked up among other suspects. She bails him out and further gets him involved in tracking down the ritual killers in Lagos.
Leye, explores the city of Lagos through the eyes of Guy, Amaka, and the criminals Catch-Fire, Go-Slow, Chuks and Knockout. In the weaving of their different individual stories, he builds up the interconnectedness in the characters with an easy flow that makes the book a page turner.
Of all the uniformed men in Nigeria, all of which have their images tainted, the Nigerian Police in their black uniform seem to be unrepentant and maintain their status quo since the days of Fela; oppressing innocent civilians and collecting bribes. The horror of walking into a Nigerian Police cell and the risk of one disappearing without as much as anyone saying anything is what Leye states quite well. The rapid killings and accidental discharges that Nigerians have suffered in the hands of the men in black uniform is enough for one not to take them seriously. For a moment, the book seems to be an exposition of the corrupt practices in the Nigerian Police Force and for once one feels that the very people that are ‘our friends’ have found a place in Nigerian literature.
If there is a topic one would expect to be tackled at this time, it wouldn’t be ritualists, a white man and prostitutes. Not that it’s a wrong subject matter to tackle, not that these things still don’t happen, they do, but rather it sounds like a clichéd story, beaten down and resurrected and beaten down again. It is uninspiring, stale and not refreshing. One would expect a different approach to the story even if it had to do with rituals and a white man, something more mind blowing and not just the many books that pop us telling us how different parts of Lagos look like, which part is for the rich and which part for the poor.

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