There are just enough hints about Tade Thompson in the opening paragraphs of Jackdaw to want to lean in and listen closely to what is being said. As you listen to the initial conversation you become drawn in further.
What he has to say is unnerving and he becomes increasingly disturbed. He describes a slow and steady decline and then almost suddenly he is overwhelmingly out of control.
Unless you have experienced psychosis then this is as close as you will get to the real thing. It is as close as you want to get to the real thing.
An obsession with sex whilst psychotic isn’t unusual but a one-sided sex life with a photo then hallucination of a long dead woman? Not so usual.
There are frequent references to the violent past in Nigeria of the younger protagonist. The violence follows him to the present time. His job, marriage, relationship with his child and all that he holds dear is threatened as he loses his hold onto reality.
The ways he encounters violence in his present brings to mind Tyler Durden in the novel Fight Club. Both Tade and Tyler seem to be looking for empowerment that will transform their sense of inadequacy.
I’m not going to hint at the ending – to find that out you’ll have to buy the book. One thing I reveal though is I like to learn something odd from fiction. Tade mentioned that lobsters are social animals so I did a bit of a google and found that they like to greet each other by squirting urine at each other. Nice.
You can find Tade on Twitter as @TadeThompson. Tell him I sent you.