#LiterallyWhatsHot: When Prostitutes See Heaven, Death follows – A Review of Akintayo Akinjide’s “Dread in the Spine”
– OkadaBooks —
The story is set in Fortunecity, a fictional private island in Nigeria that seems far more developed and more organized than what we have in our current Nigerian setting.
The Private Island is divided into Greencity, Brownvalley, Blacktown, and Suncity. But major events take place in Greencity, a place where nothing really seems like it is.
The story starts with Nosa Obaigbenwen finding the hideout of his longtime sweetheart, Moriah , one of Fortunecity’s best geek who prefers to be seen as a prostitute, or, is she forced to assume that identity? And as Moriah sees him, she shrieks in fright and runs back to the safety of her home to avoid him. Nosa however, is determined to be with her again after 8 years. He succeeds, briefly, before Johnson Owojobi , head of Eagle Eyes Security, calls him away on assignment.
It so turns out, that as much as the city seemed more developed and organized, the police department couldn’t crack a case, which leads to some rich people coming together to pay huge sums of money to Eagle Eyes Security to investigate the disappearance and deaths of certain prostitutes who claim they saw heaven. One by one, their bodies are discovered. And because the payment is huge, Johnson only wants the best hand on the case. Nosa. Being a private detective, Nosa makes it a habit not to go after crimes in the city. “The law should handle it”, he says. He only gets involved as long as he is paid privately to do so. And this was indeed a big case to crack.
Unfortunately, those around Nosa are in one way or the other, tied to the crime and he, being ignorant of their involvement, is kicked around as they are always a step ahead of him.
The plot thickens after Nosa interviews one of the prostitutes who saw heaven, Joana, and discovers he is being watched, as the person behind the kidnap has a clear voice recording of their conversation. And because of that, Joana becomes the next target. But even then, Nosa throws caution to the wind and acts carelessly.
I couldn’t help but be angry at Nosa’s character because, as good as the writer made him seem, he couldn’t solve the case. Instead, he got caught in it; he let himself be manipulated by emotions, his lovers, and their demands.
Moriah, is madly in love with Nosa, despite him being married to Chloe. But she cannot be with him as she’d want to because of a past mistake that is now used against her. Like that isn’t enough, she is forced to work with the people who do not want Nosa to crack this new case open.
Shayla, Fortunecity Police officer now suspended, highly trained, no-nonsense assassin, Nosa’s mistress, soon to be mother of his unborn child and the major bone in Chloe’s throat.
Chloe, Nosa’s wife, gentle, easy going, loves the scent of flowers and gardens, and the one person showing real concern for the kidnapped women in Greencity. But still, she holds all of Review Of Akintayo Akinjide’s “dread In The Spine”- Bella Naija Fortunecity in her hands.
Raphael, Nosa’s best friend, until accused of raping Moriah, the woman Nosa is most crazy about. But then, their job brings them together, and more secrets are revealed.
Other Characters include Agnes, Lila , and
Victoria, some of the prostitutes. Then we have
Mummy Church, a crazy woman who has no control of her tongue, and Nosa’s father, a pastor, and disciplinarian.
Dread in the Spine reads like a Hollywood crime movie. Strictly Entertainment. But not as tight, as there were few loose ends which, if tightened, would give the story a better chance at being a Hollywood blockbuster. But still, I thoroughly enjoyed this.
I like the way the author built the Nigerian characters into the story. It gives a feel of home and Hollywood mixed together. The characters were well developed. The flow of the story is smooth and intriguing.
Sincerely, I’d love to see what this story looks like on the big screen. It’s worth making into a movie.
Will I recommend this book for good company?
Definitely, because it is a page-turner.