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The body of a beautiful seventeen-year-old Zulu girl, Amahle, is found covered in wildflowers on a hillside in the Drakensberg Mountains, halfway between her father’s compound and the enormous white-owned farm where she ...
The body of a beautiful seventeen-year-old Zulu girl, Amahle, is found covered in wildflowers on a hillside in the Drakensberg Mountains, halfway between her father’s compound and the enormous white-owned farm where she worked. Detective Sergeant Cooper and Detective Constable Samuel Shabalala are sent to the desolate landscape to investigate. They soon discover that Amahle’s life was woven into both the black and white communities in ways they could never have imagined. Cooper and Shabalala must enter the guarded worlds of a traditional Zulu clan and a divided white farming community to gather up the secrets she left behind and bring her murderer to justice.
In a country deeply divided by apartheid, where the law is bent as often as it is broken, Emmanuel Cooper fights against all odds to deliver justice and bring together two seemingly disparate and irreconcilable worlds despite the danger that is arising.
Posted November 14, 2012
The iconoclastic South African detective Sergeant Emmanuel Cooper returns in this excellent third installment in the series, replete with poignant observations on the effects of the rigid apartheid system in the country in 1953. Cooper, who remains in the dog house for past transgressions, is plucked by his superior to solve a murder in an attempt to resurrect his status.
Accompanied by black Detective Constable Samuel Shabalala, he finds the body of a 17-year-old Zulu girl, daughter of a chief. There are no clues at the scene, and the two have to scrounge for leads and face obstacles from the natives and landowners, each with their own agenda. The victim herself was involved in both the white and native African worlds, so that the detectives have to cope with the guarded secrets of both communities.
The characters drawn with deep accuracy to depict the characteristics of the South African society at the time are real and flawed. The novel brings the reader into the corrupt atmosphere of the country with careful descriptions and sharp prose. Another welcome addition to the adventures of a colorful detective, and it is most highly recommended.