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Mixed Blood
     

Mixed Blood

3.7 11
by Roger Smith
 

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A corrupt cop, a gangbanger, and an ex-marine sitting on three million dollars in stolen cash find themselves entangled in this "cinematic cape town thriller" (Bookpage).

Reluctant bank robber Jack Burn is on the run after a heist in the United States that left three million dollars missing and one cop dead. Hiding out in Cape Town, South Africa, he

Overview

A corrupt cop, a gangbanger, and an ex-marine sitting on three million dollars in stolen cash find themselves entangled in this "cinematic cape town thriller" (Bookpage).

Reluctant bank robber Jack Burn is on the run after a heist in the United States that left three million dollars missing and one cop dead. Hiding out in Cape Town, South Africa, he is desperate to build a new life for his pregnant wife and young son. But on a tranquil evening in their new suburban neighborhood, they are the victims of a random gangland break-in. Benny Mongrel, an ex-con night watchman, knows who went into Burn's house, and what the American did to them. Burn's actions soon trap them both in a cat-and-mouse game with Rudi "Gatsby" Barnard, a corrupt Afrikaner cop. Once Gatsby smells those missing American millions, the men are drawn into a web of murder and vengeance that builds to an unforgettable conclusion.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“With its shattering sense of place and satisfying plot twists, this book will grip you from page one.” —Chelsea Cain, author of Sweetheart and Evil at Heart

“Almost impossible to put down, offering the rewards of a literary thriller combined with the zip of a powerful movie.” —The Florida Times Union

“Like Pelecanos, Smith captures the humanity burning in lives trapped by poverty and prejudice.” —Booklist

“Smith's Cape Town is almost Dickensian in its presentation of thugs and murderers [and] an especially wonderful villain.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Mixed Blood is an unnerving thrill ride that kept me on edge from beginning to end. The set-up is terrific and the bad guy is really bad - but so are the good guys. Mixed Blood is a top notch debut thriller and I'm looking forward to Roger Smith's next book.” —Phillip Margolin, author of Executive Privilege

“Smith does an outstanding job of bringing Cape Town to life, taking us through the twists and turns of the local criminal world and the confusing labyrinth of racial identity in post-apartheid South Africa. His prose is crisp and efficient … [with a] fascinating and vividly conjured location.” —Kirkus Reviews

“A gripping thriller that follows believable (if sometimes grotesque) characters along a desperate rush to ruin. Highly recommended.” —Library Journal

“Smith offers a gritty tale of corruption and vengeance set in South Africa in his absorbing debut … Smith's taut prose bodes well for future thrillers from his pen.” —Publishers Weekly

“[A] well-told, brutal tale…. Riveting.” —The Roanoke Times

“Startling, vivid, frightening. A first-rate debut from an up-and-coming talent.” —Eric Van Lustbader, author of First Daughter and The Bourne Sanction

“Smith's characters fight for their lives against a Cape Town heavy with heat, grime, corruption, and gang violence. With its shattering sense of place and satisfying plot twists, this book will grip you from page one.” —Chelsea Cain, author of Heartsick and Sweetheart

Publishers Weekly

Screenwriter Smith offers a gritty tale of corruption and vengeance set in South Africa in his absorbing debut. On the verge of financial ruin, American Jack Burn, a security specialist, reluctantly joined a bank robbery plot that he hoped would save his family from disaster. The scheme ended badly, with most of his accomplices dead, along with a policeman, turning Burn, who made off with millions, into a wanted fugitive. Under a new identity, Burn has succeeded in making a new life with his wife and four-year-old son in Cape Town, South Africa. Their tenuous stability ends after two meth-heads invade the Burnses' home and threaten violence. While Jack manages to kill the intruders and dispose of the bodies, the incident draws the unwelcome attention of Insp. Rudi Barnard, a dirty cop who rules the area known as Cape Flats. The grim denouement may not satisfy all readers, but Smith's taut prose bodes well for future thrillers from his pen. Author tour. (Feb.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Smith's debut is a fast-paced crime story set in Cape Town, South Africa, where an uneasy relationship exists among white, black, and "colored" people of varying ethnicity. Jack Burn, an American security-systems expert, fled the United States with wife and child in tow following his forced participation in a bank robbery during which a cop was killed. Now living in the wealthy heights of Cape Town, he and his family find their life further roiled when two thugs on meth invade their home one night. In order to save his pregnant wife and young son from harm, Jack is forced to kill both men. This event will threaten his marriage and his son's life; entangle him in the affairs of Benny Mongrel, an ex-con also trying to escape a desperate past; and put him in the crosshairs of fat Rudi Barnard, a corrupt Afrikaner cop who kills with the ease of a psychopath. Cleverly plotted, this is a gripping thriller that follows believable (if sometimes grotesque) characters along a desperate rush to ruin. The brutal landscape will remind readers of Deon Meyer's best South African novels. Highly recommended for all public libraries. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ10/1/08.]
—Ron Terpening

Kirkus Reviews
An American attempting to outrun his past runs afoul of Cape Town locals on both sides of the law in this debut thriller. After Jack Burn participates in a bank robbery that leaves a cop dead, he and his pregnant wife decide to start a new life with their four-year-old son in this bustling city on Africa's southern tip. Things are going well until two small-time gangbangers, high on crystal meth, decide to break into Burn's house, terrorize his family and take what they want from his home. Of course the gangsters don't know about Burn's criminal past or his military training. Before things have a chance to get really ugly, both gangsters wind up dead on the floor, victims of Burn's skills with a kitchen knife. Being a wanted fugitive, he can't go to the police, so he's forced to dispose of the bodies himself. This sets off a complicated chain of events that thrusts Burn into the midst of Cape Town's dark, confusing underworld. He finds himself caught amidst three opposing forces: Rudi "Gatsby" Barnard, an obese, foul-smelling crooked cop; Benny Mongrel, a gangbanger turned security guard who witnessed the break-in from his post at a building site across the street; and Disaster Zondi, a reformer from the capital who is trying to clean up the local police department. Smith does an outstanding job of bringing Cape Town to life, taking us through the twists and turns of the local criminal world and the confusing labyrinth of racial identity in post-apartheid South Africa. His prose is crisp and efficient, but unfortunately, beneath this book's fascinating and vividly conjured location lies a pretty standard story peopled with pretty standard players. Genre fans will find nothingobjectionable, but others may long for something new, or at least for characters with a little more depth. Agent: Alice Martell/Alice Martell Agency

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312429508
Publisher:
Picador
Publication date:
12/22/2009
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.32(h) x 0.86(d)

Meet the Author

Roger Smith is an accomplished screenwriter, director, and producer. He is at work on a second stand-alone thriller set in and around Cape Town, where he currently lives.

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Mixed Blood 3.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Here goes harriet klausner, ruining another book. Learn to write a review without revealing every plot point. You and several others seem to feel the need to ruin a book for everyone by writing a dissertation. FYI....we can read and i will just bet 99%of readers woukd like to read for themselves without harriet klausner telling every significant detail. Ban her already bn, she is costing you money!!!"
Spurs4life More than 1 year ago
This is the first book written by Roger Smith but the last one of the four he has published that I read. This book is an action packed non stop thrill ride with not a redeeming character in sight but I couldn't put it down. Even though the characters are not nice people I wanted to keep reading to see how things would end. I can not wait to read the next Roger Smith book. Thanks Roger for another fantastic read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm not sure Harriet Klausner is any worse than any other reviewer. Maybe she is getting a bad rap. Editorial reviews are pretty thorough with the plot, but neither they nor Ms. Klausner give away the endings, which is important. I still look forward to reading this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Language was difficult to handle. Characters were not likeable. Plot was a bit disconnected. Evil vs more evil.
xJDx More than 1 year ago
Great one or two day read.It sucked me back in everytime i put it down.Loved the characters