Book review: Going to Cameroon: a novel

Getting into the mind of a psychopathic murderer is something many novelists have tried, with varying degrees of success.

By Anthony Coppin
Monday, 2nd February 2015, 9:39 am
Going to Cameroon
Going to Cameroon

Explaining such a killer’s motivation, planning, executional skills, as well as how the murderer tries to avoid capture, are all crucial in such plots.

And it is in these areas which Middle East-based Sudanese writer Izzaldin Alzain excels, building up tension chapter by chapter to create an un-putdownable narrative incorporating very well-crafted detail.

Super cool young French student Pierre Boucher loathes his cruel father, a leading French medic, not least for Boucher senior’s extra marital affairs with various wealthy mistresses.

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Some people say the French are cool about infidelity, but certainly not Pierre. His revenge on his father is to execute the women concerned, bringing disgrace on his dad, prompting panic in his home city and - eventually - good detective work by the metropolitan gendarmerie.

How Pierre goes about his grisly killing spree, his thought processes and his clever, though utimately unsuccessful, attempts to avoid capture all form part of the brilliantly twisting plot.

Throughout the book there is an occasional (and unusual for novels of this sort) weaving of a philosophical discussion surrounding free will.

The storyline has a definite filmic quality and would, I feel, make the the basis for a popular thriller movie.

What’s the connection between the story and the former Anglo-French colony of Cameroon? I’m not going to give the game away!

Author Izzaldin Alzaain lives in Dubai (but has relatives in Garstang, Lancashire). This, his first novel is well worthy of a wide readership.

“Going to Cameroon: a novel” (paperback)

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing

Price: £9.90