Last Seen in Lapaz

Soho Crime. (Emma Djan, Bk. 3). Feb. 2023. 360p. ISBN 9781641293396. $27.95. SUSPENSE
Told from different characters’ viewpoints, Quartey’s third Emma Djan title (after Sleep Well, My Lady) is another singular and thrilling novel set across West Africa. This time, PI Emma is charged with finding a missing young Nigerian woman, Ngozi, whose family suspects she has eloped with her older boyfriend Femi. Tracking down Ngozi and Femi drags Emma into a world of prostitution and sex trafficking. Femi turns out to be a con artist who convinces victims that they are being smuggled into Germany or Italy to begin new lives while in reality selling them in a trafficking network. It comes to light that Femi may also be swindling his partners and has enemies who would not hesitate to torture and murder to keep their money flowing. As Emma goes undercover to get to the truth, she puts herself directly in the path of Femi’s enemies. Readers should be aware that this novel’s plot centers on prostitution and sex trafficking and contains sexual violence.
VERDICT Since book one, The Missing American, Emma’s character development has progressed to create a more dimensional heroine worth rooting for. Good for fans of African fiction and crime fiction.
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