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Femi Kayode. Gaslight: A Novel (Mulholland, $29.00).
In this follow-up to Kayode's "action-packed and spirited debut" Philip Taiwo returns to solve a missing-persons case, and in so doing, uncovers dark secrets the church has worked tirelessly to hide (Oyinkan Braithwaite, author of My Sister, the Serial Killer).
A shadow has fallen over the megachurch in Ogun State, Nigeria: the beloved Bishop Dawodu has been arrested for the murder of his wife. Sade Dawodu has vanished without a trace and although no body has been found, the police have acted based on what they claim is damning evidence. Philip Taiwo, hot off the success of solving the Okriki Three case, is brought on to investigate. He quickly learns that Sade, young, impulsive, and outspoken, is no favorite of the congregants. She has also been known to disappear for long stretches of time. As Taiwo and his trusted associate, Chika plunge into the investigation, they unearth secrets that go beyond the missing persons case, ones that if leaked, threaten to shatter not only the Bishop, but the church itself. Taiwo quickly begins to feel like a hired gun, put up to the task with the express purpose to clear the bishop’s name rather than find the naked truth.
As Taiwo strives to crack the vast conspiracy he's up against, he’s tugged away by the demands of family life, and derailed by systemic challenges: in Nigeria, cash is king, there are no viable databases, and records are sparse. Through his eyes, we’re treated to religion’s cult-like grip, the ways in which the state is in bed with the church, and the difference between police corruption in Nigeria and America, where Philip has been living for over two decades. In turns high-octane, dark and political, but always emotionally stirring, this highly-anticipated follow-up to LIGHTSEEKERS has the bones of a classic mystery with a fresh, global tilt.
Femi Kayode trained as a clinical psychologist in Nigeria, before starting a career in advertising. He has created and written several primetime TV shows and recently graduated with a distinction from the UEA Creative Writing programme. He is lives in Windhoek, Namibia with his wife and two sons.
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