19 September 2012

Library Limelights 13

Ever have three library books arrive almost simultaneously? Yup. Running up the down escalator here. I also find the random sequence of books often echoes from one to the next. Strange.

Peter Robinson. No Cure for Love. Toronto: Penguin Canada, 1995.
This is vintage Robinson sans Inspector Banks. Set mainly in the L.A. Area, a British actress is stalked by a vicious phantom. The eventual outcome is not too difficult to guess, but the heroine's amnesic, wayward past drives the suspense. Her relationship with her impossible sister is so realistic I thought I walked into my own family: oooooh

Will Ferguson. 419. Toronto: Viking/Penguin Canada, 2012.
If you ever received an email seeking your kindest and most blessed assistance in the transfer of millions from an African country into your very own bank account, chances are high that you deleted it.
I just had to add a sample of my recent spam that had me bursting into laughter:
[sic] “one Mr. Nelson Edward came To Pick Up Your A.T.M Card on your behalf?, he visited our office today with the story that your are not fine and been admitted in the psychiatry hospital,”

Not everyone notices the bad punctuation and outlandish scenarios; imagine that [sarcasm intended]. Some victims continue to be sucked in. Will Ferguson is here to bare the roots and branches of “advance fee fraud” known colloquially as 419 in Nigeria from its position in their criminal code. One family decides to fight back as “scambaiters,” and it's a pleasure to see how they track down the swindler—whether it's plausible or not. Cheering them on is harrowing until the very last pages. A parallel story reveals, in vivid detail, life in the Niger Delta as oil companies encroach and destroy. Ferguson's travel writing experience serves him brilliantly in illuminating the nuances of cultural beliefs, tribal suspicions, urban slums, and survival ingenuity. Highly recommended for an educational jolt from comfortable Canada to little-known and little-understood West Africa. 

James Grippando. Last to Die. New York: HarperCollins, 2003.
See? I did follow up with Miami lawyer Jack Swytek and again, it's a twisting story of surprises. A disturbed woman dies and leaves her considerable fortune to what amounts to a tontine of six people. Several of them are being preyed upon by a murderous stalker at seemingly cross-purposes. One stalker or two? Swytek takes a quick trip to West Africa with a hair-raising made-for-Hollywood moment ... and not involving the Internet. Glad to report there are several more to come in this series.

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