Treachery in the Yard
A Tamunoemi "Tammy" Peterside Mystery by Adimchinma Ibe
Review: A bomb set off in the garage of a candidate for governor is just the first in a series of politically motivated crimes investigated by Nigerian homicide detective Tamunoemi "Tammy" Peterside in Treachery in the Yard, the first mystery in this series by Adimchinma Ibe.
Pius Okpara had been running unopposed for his party's nomination when an American-trained physician, Dr. Vincent Puene, decides to run against him. Though no one was injured in the blast, the fact that the crime took place at the residence of an important man was sufficient to draw police officers from every department — including Tammy from homicide — to the scene. Tammy learns that Okpara's neighbor had seen a strange vehicle in the vicinity repeatedly over the past few days, and that same vehicle sped away from Okpara's compound just after the bomb blew. Tammy is suspicious: "What makes you think he set off the bomb? If he set it off, wouldn't he have first gotten away?" Still, Tammy's suspicions prove to be unfounded when the neighbor is later murdered and what may have started out to be a scare tactic is now a homicide investigation.
Quite short at less than 150 pages, Treachery in the Yard is, at best, an uneven police procedural. Told in first person, Tammy tends towards 1940s LA film noir in his narrative — It would be hours before forensics came up with more than what we already knew. I decided to pay a visit to Dr. Puene, Okpara's opponent. — and he assumes the role of a rogue cop more often than not — Given we had no warrant, I fabricated a little and said he opened the front door and attacked us. It was true, except for moving the bedroom door about twenty feet forward. The suspect, being unconscious, did not dispute my account. This somewhat perfunctory style helps keep things interesting and edgy — and has an unexpected familiarity, given the setting is Nigeria not Los Angeles — but not enough to compensate for the rather improbable plot involving double-dealing, back-stabbing, and a seemingly nonstop stream of murders that in the end seem to serve no purpose.
Acknowledgment: Minotaur Books provided a copy of Treachery in the Yard for this review.
Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Treachery in the Yard: Nigeria
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Treachery in the Yard by Adimchinma Ibe — A Tamunoemi "Tammy" Peterside Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: August 2010
List Price: $22.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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