Mystery novels are not a particular interest of mine, so i was surprised when someone virtually thrust this book into my hand. Having watched some of this series on the Goggle Box, i was only mildly interested in starting SIMISOLA. What a pleasant experience this book proved to be. The characters are superbly drawn, Wexford particularly so, but the Akande family was portrayed exquisitely. A sympathetic view into another culture is always welcome, since we ofays rarely have a proper glimpse into other worlds. This book strongly reflects the issues facing the UK's race relations today, the Stephen Lawrence murder case being a vivid example. Wexford's self confrontations are the highlights of this book. One hopes it's not a racist comment to request that someone from the Black community read and comment on this book for its accuracy.
This book, having led me to other Rendall works, led me to wonder just what the story behind its writing might be. SIMISOLA is so far superior to any of the other works i read that i can't help question who might have co-authored it. Rendall has a high reputation, which i can't judge having so little experience with the genre. No matter, this is an outstanding read and a fine addition to any bookshelf. The mystery is almost a minor matter set against some stunning revelations about race relations anywhere in the English speaking world. Buy, read and reflect on this book. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]