There is something magical about reading a book which is set in your own city or country. The sights are familiar; the observations feel intimate; and an analysis of everyday, mundane activities builds an instant camaraderie between the reader and the author.

Line and Sinker by Paul Nderitu set in contemporary Nairobi is such a story. It is a crime story told through the third person narrative of Inspector Mutua, a police inspector, who is dedicated to fighting crime in the city, so much so that his work puts his family life firmly in the back seat.

The story is engaging. It is dialogue heavy, and fast paced. And at just 154 pages, Line & Sinker ought to be a quick read.

But it was a tedious one, and I was tempted more than once to put it down.

It was poorly edited with spelling and grammatical errors that detract from the fluidity of the story.

The benefits of a smooth narrative were also sacrificed in favour of too many rapidly unfolding events, which made for a jagged reading pattern. Character development was also sacrificed in favour of plot, and so even the main characters – Inspector Mutua and his wife Sylvia – remained hazy in the mind of the reader right up to the end. Cryptic comments made by the main characters were also left undeveloped.

That said, Paul Nderitu is a young writer who has potential within the crime genre. But his writing would benefit from the expertise of a good editor.

One can buy Line and sinker online here.

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