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Smith 1
Timothy London. Soulpunk, $10 trade paper (260p) ISBN 978-1-919654-70-6
London’s promising series launch introduces Stephen Smith, a translator who works for G & K, a British security company that specializes in torturing people. The Nigerian government has hired G & K to interrogate Jim Darboe, “a significant officer in the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta,” who for reasons unknown was visiting Britain using a fake passport. It’s Smith’s job to translate Darboe’s answers from Yoruba into English, and he “has to interpret, too. Figure out exactly what is meant. Meanings can get lost in translation, lost in the transit of pain.” Smith is detached from the sadistic methods he witnesses being used on Darboe, but he later has misgivings. When his bosses fear that Smith is developing a conscience and can’t be fully trusted, his life is imperiled and he has to take desperate measures to survive. Superior prose matches sophisticated characterizations. Fans of antihero protagonists such as Max Allan Collins’s Quarry will look forward to seeing more of Smith. (Self-published)

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on 01/07/2022

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