Twelve-year-old Nnamdi and his mother are devastated when his father, the Chief of Police, is shot and killed. But when the town of Kaleria's highest criminal big-whig comes to his father's funeral, sporting a ring identical to his father's, he pees his pants in fear. A year goes by, and he's no closer to getting revenge on his father's killer, when he thinks he recognizes his father's broad back and green beret in the street.
It's his father's spirit, come to warn him of a future Kaleria going up in flames, and he gives his son an Ikenga, a sort of smallish figurine Nnamdi puts in his pocket. Almost immediately after, he hears cries of help from a woman being carjacked by Three Days Journey, a notorious car thief, and he grows to huge, Hulk-ish proportions and beats up Three Days Journey and saves the woman and her car.
It takes Nnamdi a while to figure out what's going on, where his shadow powers come from. In the process, he alienates his best friend, Chioma. But once he figures out what he can do with the Ikenga's powers, and how not to turn into a rage-filled killer when he's infused with its powers, he starts to target Kaleria's criminals.
At the top of his list: the man he believes killed his father, the Chief of Chiefs. But all is not exactly as it seems in Kaleria's criminal underworld, and more than one person had reasons to kill his father. So who was his father's killer?
I originally picked this up expecting, from the cover, a scary story, but it was more of a murder mystery. I liked that it didn't, like many MG stories, shy away from children seeing death, or being afraid of hurting others and dealing with those feelings when they did, even if those they hurt were "deserving" criminals.