Malla's new release is a beauty.
Emmanuel Cooper has been forced out of the police and is working as a labourer and part-time spy for the mysterious Captain van Niekerk. When he stumbles on the body of a murdered boy, he cannot leave well enough alone. Soon he is being pursued for that and two more murders and it is only the intervention of van Niekerk that saves him. But it comes at a price; he must solve the murders within 48 hours, and the clock is ticking fast.
This novel works very well as a crime/thriller, but it is much more. It is charged with social comment and outrage at the injustices of the apartheid era in South Africa. But it isn't strident, and acknowledges that people are people, good and bad and mostly in between. It's a terrific read.
As reviewed by Chris Bilkey in the May 2010 Booktopia Crime Buzz. Click here to see all of Booktopia's Newsletters.
From the award-winning author of A Beautiful Place to Die comes the next sensational instalment featuring charismatic detective Emmanuel Cooper.
In Let the Dead Lie, Cooper is a changed man. Forced to resign from his position of Detective Sergeant and re-classified as mixed race, he winds up powerless and alone in the tough coastal city of Durban, mixing labouring with a bit of surveillance work for his old boss, Major van Niekerk.
Patrolling the freight yards one night, Cooper stumbles upon the body of a young white boy and, the detective in him can not, or will not, walk away. When two more bodies – this time black women – are discovered at his boarding house, he unwittingly becomes the prime suspect in a triple murder case.
At van Niekerk's behest, Cooper's given 48 hours to clear his name and – unofficially – solve the three murders. And so, temporarily back to being a European Detective Sergeant, he launches headlong into Durban's seedy underworld, a viper's nest of prostitution, drug running and violence run by a colourful cast of characters including wannabe Indian gangsters; a mysterious figure who drives a white De Soto convertible; a Zion Gospel preacher, and the exquisite yet streetwise Lana, who also happens to be van Niekerk's mistress...
Number Of Pages: 400
Published: 1st April 2010
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.3 x 2.9
Weight (kg): 0.524