Light Seekers by Femi Kayode – Review.

About The Book

When three young students are brutally murdered in a Nigerian university town, their killings – and their killers – are caught on social media. The world knows who murdered them; what no one knows is why.
As the legal trial begins, investigative psychologist Philip Taiwo is contacted by the father of one of the boys, desperate for some answers to his son’s murder. But Philip is an expert in crowd behaviour and violence, not a detective, and after travelling to the sleepy university town that bore witness to the killings, he soon feels dramatically out of his depth.

Will he finally be able to uncover the truth of what happened to the Okiri Three?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. When Philip is asked by his father to help an old friend get answers about his son’s death he does so, despite finding out things about his father’s past life that upsets him. He has had many years experience in his career in America but isn’t prepared for what he faces in the small university town in Nigeria. The uneasy feelings he has about the case increase when a conversation with a passenger on the flight deteriorates when he mentions why he is going. But he soon realises this is the least of his problems, he isn’t made welcome by anybody in Okriki and he can’t rely on who he is working for. He can’t even rely on Chika his ‘driver’

I liked getting to know Philip and Chika, especially trying to work out who Chika was and his background, but the other characters were just as fascinating,. Madame Landlady was the first who had an impact on me. How her attitude changed when she realised why they were there. But she wasn’t the only one. The hotel manager, the university and especially the police make it evident that the questions weren’t welcome. There was also the town. The way of life, the lack of infrastructure,  and the lack of support to the students made Philip realise that this was a world where he was totally out of his depth and which soon made him homesick for his family and life back in America.

I know little about Nigeria and this novel was a fantastic and slightly unsettling introduction. It was also very believable. A small community facing judgement for their actions from the rest of the world, a police department who didn’t want to admit they had made a mistake and an acrimonious religious divide that was easy to manipulate. It is a novel that I will be thinking about for some time.

Femi Kayode will be appearing on First Monday Crime alongside Nadine Matheson, Tim Glister and Abigail Dean. You can watch this via their Facebook page on Monday 1st March at 7.30pm.