Soni Dike, a criminal who has ‘made it’, becoming rich with an exclusive house, fantastic cars and beautiful wife suddenly disappears. His car is found in a ditch, the music still playing. Soni’s brother Abel gets the call, and he comes to Lagos from the village he and Soni grew up in to try to find his missing brother – if the city and its vices don’t destroy who he is first.
THE CARNIVOROUS CITY is a fascinating and very different crime novel from Tony Kan, who has published and won awards for many different types of writing. His mastery of language makes this novel almost stylish, and a very easy read.
This, however, is definitely not your average crime story. In fact, a lot of the time you (and Abel) forget a bit about the crime of Soni’s disappearance that forms the core incident around which the novel is built. I would call it ‘literary crime fiction’ for its strong themes and morality tale that is built on the commission of quite a few crimes, and starts to explore how a mindset becomes one of a criminal’s.
That morality side of the story actually results in a lot of very graphic sex scenes and sexual references – enough that I was surprised. If you are at all squeamish or uncomfortable about seeing those things in print, this may not be the book for you. Also, my ear is not very well attuned to the Nigerian pidgin dialect, so I did find a few of the pa ...