A review of Ayopo Apesin’s novel, The Imperfect Murder by Tade Bankole.
THE book, The Imperfect Murder by Ayopo Apesin, chronicles the story of Nigerian couples who are essentially based around the South East of London, United Kingdom.
The story in the book is made more vivid by reference to places that are familiar to those who live, or who frequent places in and around South East London, like Woolwich, Belmarsh Prison, Prince Alice, among other places.
Though claimed to be a work of fiction, it can be said to reflect the actual experiences of Nigerian couples as they struggle to perfect their documentation to become legal residents, so as to enjoy the privileges that comes with that status.
The relegation of love and affection to the background and getting married to spouses who will help procure necessary documentation to legalise stay in the Queen’s land is rampant and is clearly articulated in the book.
The humiliation and inhuman treatment meted out to spouses looking for documentation come across vividly in the story line.
There is little or no reference to religion and the numerous churches that litter the area in the story, except for when prayer and fasting is mentioned as regards believing God for the fruit of the womb.
This is rather surprising as the story of Nigerians in South East London cannot be complete without reference to their religion, as most often, if they cannot be found in the clubs, would be found in the numerous churches around the area, especially on Sundays.
In all, the book is an example of what a work of art should be. The story is told with fluidity and the storyline is gripping, forcing the reader to look forward to the intrigue that unfolds with every turn of the page.
The professional and appropriate use of flashbacks to tell the story helps a great deal to give a glimpse into what is likely to come, and at the same time, hold the reader captive with anticipation of what the next Pandora box to be opened will contain.
The book shows the author as a prolific writer who has a great way of manipulating language to convey serious messages in a comical way.
His understanding of the inner workings of the Nigerian community in the United Kingdom is revealed through the detailed description of what goes on in the story.
This book should serve as an introduction to Nigerians coming to live in the UK, so they can be prepared and made aware of things that may happen if they do not take heed and learn from the experiences of others.
We look forward to more stories from the quiver of this great writer.
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