Unfinished Business is the third book in the Amaka Thriller Series. The first two were Easy Motion Tourist and  When Trouble Sleeps. The formula remains the same; a young lady gets entangled with a rich Lagos man, and she gets caught up as collateral damage amid a larger crime scheme but her ability to find justice is hampered by the illicit sexual relationship that entangled the young lady with the rich and famous in the first place, then Amaka comes to her rescue by liberating the young lady from the clutches of law enforcement agencies and the rich and famous sexual partners who would rather silence the girl permanently as she much has seen and heard incriminating things. In When Trouble Sleeps, the plot is set within the Nigerian political landscape amid a gubernatorial election. In Unfinished Business, the Pentecostal churches take centre stage and the corruption found there is the underlying narrative that drives the story. A pastor and his wife are executed most professionally and a young lady, Funke, who is the pastor’s mistress, is in the room when the murder occurs and needs to be rescued from the clutches of the law. At the end of When Trouble Sleeps Amaka relocated abroad and it is from the UK that she returns to rescue Funke.

The good part of Unfinished Business is that like the earlier Amaka Thriller books the author has the art of crime prose locked down. The suspense and the thrill are well-paced and well-described. Also, his description of locations is vivid and exceptional. It makes the story feel realistic and the characters relatable. The place where the novel disintegrates is in the implausibility of the plot; how Amaka gained access into the murder scene in a hotel as prominent as Sheraton Hotel and got a suspect out of the room despite all the CCTV cameras and dozens of police officers in the building. Nigerian police are known for their ineptitude but their lapses are stretched to almost unbelievable levels in Unfinished Business. Personal connections are the engine that powers institutional interactions in the Nigerian state but it still does not explain how Amaka can get limitless resources to fight her social justice crusades nor does it explain how she randomly impersonates a state governor successfully in a bid to bail a murder suspect. Additionally, the church politics seem random and thoroughly underdeveloped.

In all, Unfinished Business is a decent read but the plausibility of the plot leaves a fair bit to be desired and the actual crime feels flat. While the Amaka Thriller is a good start for Nigerian crime fiction, those from the Southern part of the continent are better developed and way more gripping.

3/5

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