Easy Motion Tourist goes into the Lagos many of us refuse to acknowledge, even as we move through it every day. This Lagos is cutthroat, hungry, enterprising and dangerous. When we join this story, things are shaky at best. The tension is high, everyone is on edge and all it takes is a single impulsive act of violence to blow everything up.
Then comes in Guy Collins, a guy who has no business being in Lagos but has something to prove to himself. Not only did he volunteer to travel down to Nigeria to cover the elections, despite his lack of actual reporting experience. He isn’t content to stay in the cocoon of his hotel and goes out in search of the real Lagos experience. Needless to say, he gets more than he bargained for and finds himself “assisting” the Nigerian police in a murder investigation.
Enter Amaka, the real lead character.This self-appointed guardian of Lagos “working girls” has no qualms getting her hands filthy to carry out her mission which is not about saving her charge but keeping them safe. A mission I can’t help but scoff at seeing as prostitution has been and always will be a high-risk job. This didn’t stop me from enjoying her antics. She sees an opportunity in Guy to expose a criminal enterprise run by a mysterious voice that have been preying on her girls.
Of course, Guy is as useful as gum on a shoe and doesn’t even have the decency to correct her assumption that he’s a BBC journalist. I do not appreciate Guy’s role in this story especially when he decides he’s in love with Amaka and that somehow negates the fact that he’s a liar and a creep. But I digress. Amaka is a little hard to swallow, definitely not realistic but I guess that’s the point so I’m just going along with it.
The criminal element in this book are an interesting breed, with names like Catch-Fire, Go-Slow and Knockout, they are impossible to ignore. The role of the police in this book is as unclear as it is in life. Are they the bad guys? Should you trust them? Inspector Ibrahim’s motives remain unclear until the end. And I can’t help feeling he still hasn’t figured out what side he’s on as well.
Leye Adenle is a master story weaver. There are a lot of colourful characters in this book and it could have gone as terrible as this book is good. I loved the fast pace of Easy Motion Tourist. The fact that the story takes place within a week or so means there’s no aimless lying around or bellyaching by the characters.
Easy Motion Tourist is a different breed of animal than I have gotten used to. A real page turner, Nigerian Crime Fiction is my new favourite genre. I finished this 300+ page novel in less than 6 hours. Which may not seem like a big deal to some of you but I feel the need to pat myself on the back and give 2 thumbs up to the Author.
I would also like to profess my new-found love for short chapters. Keeping the chapters short means you’re moving from one action packed scene to the next. This keeps your blood pressure up and built the tension for an awesome climax.
Author: Leye Adenle
Published by: Cassava Republic Press
Date of Publication: 2016
Genre: Crime Fiction
Guy Collins, a British hack, is hunting for an election story in Lagos. A decision to check out a local bar in Victoria Island ends up badly – a mutilated female body is discarded close by and Collins is picked up as a suspect.
In the murk of a hot, groaning and bloody police station cell, Collins fears the worst. But then Amaka, a sassy guardian angel of Lagos working girls, talks the police station chief around. She assumes Collins is a BBC journo who can broadcast the city’s witchcraft and body parts trade that she’s on a one-woman mission to stop.
With Easy Motion Tourist’s astonishing cast, Tarantino has landed in Lagos. This page-turning debut crime novel pulses with the rhythm of Nigeria’s mega-city reeks of its open drains and sparkles like the champagne quaffed in its upmarket districts.