Nigerian debut author Amen Alonge lives in London, where he is a practising lawyer – but he explores the other side of the law in A Good Day to Die, the first book in a trilogy featuring Pretty Boy, a young man out for vengeance at any cost.
We reviewed A Good Day to Die when it came out back in February, and now Dr Noir – AKA crime fiction expert Jacky Collins – has interviewed its young author. In the latest edition of The Doctor Will See You Now, she sets out to understand Amen’s inspirations and writing process to find out how it resulted in such a powerful, action- and crime-packed rollercoaster ride. We gave it five stars at the time.
“I was interested in the theme of vengeance,” reveals Amen. “I wanted to focus upon one character’s quest for vengeance, because vengeance never ends.” The book is set in London’s darkest reaches: “Londoners in this day and age come in many colours and this story is universal to them,” he explains.
But it is Amen’s revelations about his research process that make Jacky sit up and take note. “I would go to tower blocks, hang out with people to get a sense of it all,” he says. “I visited a crack den as part of my research.” It all helped to create realistic, well-rounded characters. “They’re in my head and real people to me, that makes the work authentic,” says Amen. “I wanted it to be unflinching.”
There’s plenty more for the viewer to get their teeth into, including a peek into what’s in store for main character Pretty Boy in the remaining books in the trilogy.