This dark and suspenseful novel tells the story of a fictitious West African country caught in the grip of civil war. The dispassionate and deadpan narrator, Asante Kroma, is a former head of Secret Services and finds himself living with the corpse of the dictator, a man who once ruled his nation with an iron fist. Through a series of flashbacks and letters penned by the dictator, N’Zo Nikiema, readers discover the role of the French shadow leader, Pierre Castaneda, whose ongoing ambition to exploit the natural resources of the country knows no limits. As these powerful men use others as pawns in a violent real-life chess match, it is the murder of six-year-old Kaveena and her mother’s quest for vengeance that brings about a surprise reckoning.
A dark, ferocious novel that you won't put down unscathed, and certainly not any more confident in the goodness in the hearts of humankind.
La Quinzaine Litteraire
Clear-sighted and desperate, speaks relentlessly of Africa bruised at the hands of local and foreign politicians, brutal, greedy, merciless. A brave novel that pulls no punches.
International Alliance of Independent Publishers
This is Diop's way of digging out of a silent history.
Contemporary Francophone Writers and the Burden of Commitment
Always opinionated, always passionate, and always worth reading.
The Lit Hub