Soulemayne "Solo" Camara
Created by Laurent Guillaume
Award-winning French crime writer Laurent Guillaume made his English language debut with White Leopard, in which he introduces the enigmatic SOULEYMAYNE "SOLO" CAMARA, a burned out cop of colour from Lyon, France who lights out for West Africa, intent on rebooting his life, after an arrest goes bad.
He settles down as in Bamako, Mali, the village where his father used to live, content to work as a low-key private eye and drink a little more than he probably should, while musing over the irony that, thanks to his cafè au lait skin and mixed race heritage, most Malians think of him as white, while back in France he was considered black. The local press has even dubbed him the "White Leopard." But he seems relatively happy, sporting a tagelmust and only suffering a little from occasional bouts of malaria. And then this dame comes in the door of his office...
Definitely not your average hard-boiled gumshoe, but once you get your head wrapped around the setting, Guillaume definitely delivers plenty of the private eye stuff.
The author is a former police officer, working narcotics, anti-gang and financial crimes, and served as an advisor in Mali on a drug trafficking case.
Not particularly a growth industry, perhaps, but the "Dark Continent" has provided a few rather interesting eyes.
Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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