Nombeko Mayeki defies her fate – to grow up quickly and die young in the poverty-stricken South African town of Soweto – when she starts work at a sanitation company cleaning other people’s latrines. With hard work, smart thinking and a distinctly mathematical brain, Nombeko works her way up the ladder and is soon practically running the entire facility.
But a fateful meeting with a drunk engineer who almost runs her over derails her life….Two other things happen that eventually involve Nombeko: The king and prime minister of Sweden go missing from a gala banquet. And a nuclear missile that isn’t supposed to exist falls into the wrong hands. When Nombeko finds out about this missile, thanks to the drunk engineer, she is forced to flee not just from South African cops but also the world’s most terrifying secret service (yes, that’s Israel’s Mossad). Then she finds herself in Sweden, where she discovers it has become a nuclear nation, and the fate of the whole world now rests in her hands….
The novel features a zany cast of characters which includes: Nombeko, the woman with a gift for numbers, Holger One the republican activist determined to bring down the monarchy and his brother Holger Two, who’s tired of not technically existing and his brothers antics.
The story whisks you away along its dramatic twists and turns. One minute you’re with three Chinese girls with a talent for faking antique gooses, the next you’re watching a crazed man get attacked by a Swedish King. The story is full of odd twists and turns and the most absurd situations you can imagine. It makes it fun to read, because I never knew while I was reading it what would come next. But sometimes I wished that the author, Jonas Jonasson, slowed down the absurdities a bit, because I found the end of the story hard to follow because of this. On the other had I had to laugh at many of these points in the story because they were so unbelievable funny. If you are not in for absurdity this will not be your type of book, but if you see the humour between the lines, then you will certainly like it!
I rate this book a 4 on 5.
Reviewed by Vaishnavi