Reviewed By Ruffina Oserio for Readers’ Favorite
The Vapours by Selwyn Jeffers is a psychological thriller with a protagonist whose voice gripped me right off the bat: “I’m the gatekeeper for the rich, the poor, the young, the old, the educated and the ignorant. When I see you on the streets I can feel your energy, it’s either admiration or contempt; you fear my dark skin; my stature intimidates you; my tattoo and physique make you feel uncomfortable.” I immediately wanted to know who Shawn “Banneker” Beckford is after reading these lines, and I bet it was a curiosity worth entertaining. The reader is introduced to a brilliant business student with a very unique gift for manipulating and connecting with people. But this gift leads him to a place he never dreamed he’d be — he is the gatekeeper of the underbelly of Toronto’s crime world. Does he have the courage to choose his personal path or the one enforced by fate, the one filled with danger and uncertainty?
Selwyn Jeffers has what it takes to get readers intoxicated with a character and this author keeps it real and hugely interesting. The protagonist is a character that readers will want to follow, imagined with great emotional and psychological depth and written into a context that is real and intriguing. The conflict is strong and mostly developed at the psychological level. The character development arc comes out clearly in the narrative and it follows the progression of the conflict and the ingenious plot structure. The Vapours is deftly written, balanced, and it features the kind of prose that entices the reader and allows points of view to come out clearly. I enjoyed the focused scenes, the insightful passages, and the exciting conflicts.