Author: Adimchinma Ibe
Publisher: Minotaur Books, 2010
Hardcover, 160 pages
Genre: Police Procedural, #1 Detective Tammy Peterside mystery
Source: Purchased from Bookcloseouts.
First Line: The lead officer briefed us as we walked through the chaotic scene.
Detective Tamunoemi ("Tammy") Peterside is thrown right into the middle of a heated political race when one candidate's home is destroyed by a bomb. The person at the top of the suspect list is that candidate's opponent. As Peterside tries to get to the bottom of this mess, anyone who might possibly be a witness to the bombing is murdered, and Peterside's superiors set up a constant barrage of advice for him to stop investigating without delay. But Peterside only follows advice (and the rules) when it suits him, and right now it suits him to find out why these people are being murdered.
This is a short book that is extremely fast-paced. It paints a picture of a Nigeria that's crippled by corruption. A country where the haves have it all, and the have-nots can't even expect running water or electricity. A country where the police do not have access to computers.
Although I liked the pace of the book and its general plot, I did have a couple of problems with it. If you are the type of reader who is only comfortable when you like the main character, you might not like this book. Tammy Peterside is the type of policeman who seems to revel in being his own man. He follows the rules when it suits him, and he thinks nothing of denying suspects their rights when it's convenient for him. Since corruption is such a problem in his country, perhaps this is the only real way he can make headway when the deck is so stacked against him. However, he's also rather cavalier with his lady friends. He knows he's not treating his current girlfriend right, but it doesn't seem to bother him much. Personally I think the only reason why he's seeing this woman is because she has such a great apartment-- he can stop by occasionally for air conditioning and ice.
The bodies pile up rather quickly in Treachery in the Yard, but I would expect that these villains would waste no time in covering their tracks. What I didn't like was that, once I knew the nickname of one of the municipal buildings, it was easy for me to piece things together.
Despite the problems in this debut novel, it does show a lot of promise, and I will be interested to see what problem Detective Peterside has on his hands in the next book in this series.