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.
Mixed Bloodby Roger Smith
"An American fugitive hides out in Cape Town - one of the world's most beautiful and violent cities - in this riveting debut thriller that asks: Can you ever outrun your past?" "Reluctant bank robber Jack Burn is on the run after a heist in the United States that left $3 million missing and one cop dead. Hiding out in Cape Town, South Africa, he is desperate to… See more details below
"An American fugitive hides out in Cape Town - one of the world's most beautiful and violent cities - in this riveting debut thriller that asks: Can you ever outrun your past?" "Reluctant bank robber Jack Burn is on the run after a heist in the United States that left $3 million 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 assault that changes everything." "Benny Mongrel, an ex-con night watchman guarding a building site next to Burn's home, is another man desperate to escape his past. After years in the ghetto gangs of Cape Town he knows who went into Burn's house. And what the American did to them. He also knows his only chance to save his own brown skin is to forget what he saw." Burn's actions on that night trap them both in a cat-and-mouse game with Rudi "Gatsby" Barnard - a corrupt Afrikaner cop who loves killing almost as much as he loves Jesus Christ - and Disaster Zondi, a fastidious Zulu detective who wishes to settle an old score. Once Gatsby smells those missing American millions, the four men are drawn into a web of murder and vengeance that builds to an unforgettable conclusion.
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.]
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