This is Mukoma wa Ngugi’s second book and the sequel to his first book, Nairobi Heat. I read Nairobi Heat last year and really enjoyed it. So, I was very excited to read Black Star Nairobi. I started this book with great expectations and let me tell you, it didn’t disappoint. I was engaged and on the edge from beginning to end. This book was so well written, and the characters (already well established in the first book) were developed enough to refresh the memory of those who read book one and also to help those reading for the first time to understand what exactly is going on.
I started this blog as a way to document my yearly reading challenges. I was able to read 59 books last year, only one book short of my 60 books challenge. I set up the same challenge this year hoping to exceed my goal. To meet or exceed this goal, I must read at least 5 books a month. So, how did I do in the first quarter? Am I ahead or behind and should I reconsider my challenge? To help put things into perspective, here are the books I read each month.
Nairobi Heat is a crime fiction about how two detectives who live in two different continents and have never met each other before but later became good friends joined forces to solve the murder of an unidentified young white girl. Ishmael, an African American is the book’s narrator and the lead detective on the murder case. The prime suspect is Joshua, a former headmaster and African hero who saved innocent lives during the Rwanda genocide but now a Professor living in a very rich white neighborhood in Madison, Wisconsin. Joshua found the body on his doorstep raising many questions that landed him at the top of suspects’ list, but his air tight alibi made it difficult to convict him of the crime.
Mrs. Shaw was set during the 1990s in Kwatee, a small country in East Africa that got independence from British colonial rule but unfortunately entered a dictator rule. The book told the story of a young man Kalumba, once a freedom fighter and member of a group called Second Independence Democracy with Content Forum, or SIDCF that fought for independence from the dictator rule. Unfortunately, due to his involvement with the group he was listed among those to be executed by the government which forced him to go into exile.
Love, what a strange concept, really. Two strangers meet accidentally, fall in love, and decide to spend the rest of their lives together, kids and everything. Coincidence into destiny – that is what love does. A chance meeting that becomes life itself.
It is tough being black in this country. I miss the luxury of being an ethnic majority. I have counted the different kinds of racism – overt, class, institutional, historical, paternalistic, violent, subtle, with a goal, without a goal, conscious, unconscious. To be black is to be in a constant war – one has to weigh battles and fights worth the trouble and those that detract.
Sometimes to find peace you have to trust your enemy with your life.