books, reviews

Book Review: Making Wolf – Tade Thompson*

Meet Weston Kogi, a London supermarket store detective. He returns home to his West African home country for his aunt’s funeral. He sees his family, his ex-girlfriend Nana, his old school mate Church. Food is good, beer is plentiful, and telling people he works as a homicide detective seems like harmless hyperbole, until he wakes up in hell.

He is kidnapped and forced by two separate rebel factions to investigate the murder of a local hero, Papa Busi. The solution may tip a country on the brink into civil war.

Making Wolf is the outrageous, frightening, violent and sometimes surreal homecoming experience of a lifetime.

Tade Thompson is the author of Rosewater, a John W. Campbell Award finalist and winner of the 2017 NOMMO Award for Best Novel. His novella The Murders of Molly Southbourne has recently been optioned for screen adaptation. He also writes short stories, notably ‘The Apologists’ which was nominated for a British Science Fiction Association Award. Born in London to Yoruba parents, he lives and works on the south coast of England where he battles an addiction to books.

My thoughts:

I’d read Thompson’s award winning Rosewater, a strange, trippy novel and was curious to see what he’d do with the detective genre.

Making Wolf starts with a small lie told at a funeral and takes in a whole lot of chaos; political factions at war, poverty, murder, kidnap, you name it, Weston encounters it – all the things his aunt sent him out of the country to avoid.

Having been assigned a case he’s not exactly equipped for by both sides of a long running rebel feud, Weston soon finds himself up to his eyeballs in trouble but making some headway with the case, as long as he can stay alive.

Funny and wry, this is a clever take on the detective genre and I found myself rooting for Weston as the secret police, both rebel factions, various taxi drivers and his ex-girlfriend cause havoc around him.

West Africa is brought vividly to life, I could really picture the places Weston visited and the people he encountered, from the super obese inmate of the asylum to the Somalian pirates on a luxury yacht.

*I was kindly sent a copy of this book by the publisher with no requirement to post a review. All opinions remain my own.

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