A review by Brian Moyo
CRIME fiction is not a genre much associated with African writers. The pioneers of African novels who wrote in English in the early 1950 and 60’s appear to have set a strong trend by focusing mainly on themes to do with political discontent, upheavals and corruption on a grand scale by Africa’s ruling elite.
Writers such as South Africa’s Bloke Modisane, Kenya’s Ngugi waThiongo and Nigeria’s Chinua Achebe produced novels of exception quality in that mould.
A series of politically themed novels continued with the next generation of African writers, such as Zimbabwe’s Dambudzo Marechera, Malawi’s Jack Mapanje and Ghana’s Ayi kwei Armah who emerged in the 1970’s.
So being accustomed to African novels with a penchant for everything that has gone wrong in African politics, it was something of a pleasant surprise to be introduced to a new Nigerian author, Chimaijem Ifeanyi Ezechukwu whose debut novel, Snake Amongst Shadows is a crime fiction thriller.
Snake Amongst Shadows Book Signing Event @5.30pm on Thursday 12th November 2015 at CLR James Library, E8 3BQ.
The story is set in London and moves to Mexico, following the sleuthing adventures of the expendable P.I. Mac Logan, as he man-oeuvres through a maze of crime dens full of dodgy and dangerous characters.
Logan is old school type of detective uncovering secret international drug cartels who plan to extend their operations from Mexico into the UK. As can be expected of anyone who tangles with gangsters, Logan is never far away from danger and death……..!
Apart from the fact that Chimaijem’s first book is a great departure from the usual run of the mill in African fiction, he has courageously delved into a subject matter that most first time novelists would steer clear.
Chima, as he is known to his friends, and I suspect, to a soon-to-grow band of followers, has produced a memorable work of fiction which should alert readers out there that African fiction is not languishing in a straight jacket of political themes.
Chima confesses that he was inspired to write crime fiction by writers such as Leslie Charteris* – the creator of ‘The Saint’ etc…
Crime fiction fans will be pleased to know that Chima has a series of sleuth novels in the pipeline!
Snake Amongst Shadows by Chimaijem Ifeanyi Ezechukwu – ISBN- 9781903289211 – January 2014 – is now available at: Amazon. co. uk/Amazon.com – kindle (e-book)
Nook – Barnes and Noble