Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Pigeon English

Finished October 30
Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman
This is one of those novels with a clear voice, here the voice of Harri (Harrison) Opoku. Harri lives with his mom (a midwife) and his older sister Lydia on the 9th floor of an apartment building in London, England. Harri's dad, little sister and grandma are still back in Ghana and Harri wants desperately to see them again, as the phone calls aren't enough for him. Harri has made a friend, Dean, and the two boys spend a lot of time together. Another boy from Harri's school has been knifed and killed and Harri and Dean take it upon themselves to look for the killer since the police don't seem to be making headway. The two boys relish their role as detectives and take clues seriously, trying to gather fingerprints and other hard data.
Harri is also a bird lover, and takes a special liking to a particular pigeon, having secret conversations with it. He is also both fascinated and repelled by the local gang, the Dell Farm Crew, and is occasionally singled out by their leader X-Fire.
Harri is an innocent, trying to be the man of the house in his father's absence, and is a good boy at heart. Even his work to find the boy's killer is a good work, one he feels drawn to because the boy once did a nice thing for him. This is a story that will stick with you, young Harri's voice grabbing you and not letting go.

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