The second in a crime series set in 1950's South Africa when apartheid laws were first introduced.
|Publisher:||Washington Square Press|
|Series:||Emmanuel Cooper Series , #2|
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)|
About the Author
Malla Nunn was born in Swaziland, South Africa, and currently lives in Sydney, Australia. She is a filmmaker with three award-winning films to her credit and is currently at work on her next novel.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This suspenseful novel from award-winning author Malla Nunn is taut and tightly paced. Set in 1953 in South Africa, a country that surrounds Nunn's country of birth, Swaziland, the detective novel masterfully blends all elements that are required in such a text. Whether it is read as a sequel to Nunn's impressive debut novel, A Beautiful Place to Die, or by itself matters little, but that it is most definitely worth reading by anyone interested in the detective genre is a cert. The action in Let the Dead Lie centers around the deductive work of a former detective sergeant, Emmanuel Cooper. Emmanuel was earlier forced to buy his release from the police force on pain of otherwise being dishonorably discharged for an action that, under a more just system than the reigning apartheid regime, would not have been necessary. Within 48 hours, Emmanuel has to solve a crime without the backup of the resources that would have been available to him as a matter of course if he had been part of the conventional police force. Not only does Emmanuel have to cope with the thugs and criminals that formed part of the underworld of the time, but he also finds himself up against those who would, prior to his disgrace, have been his colleagues. With the threat of a jail sentence hanging over his head if he does not solve the crime, involving the murder of a young white boy, which rapidly escalates into the murder of three victims, in time, Emmanuel has no time to waste. Each page is more gripping than the first, as Emmanuel's deadline looms ever closer. In addition to those striving to outwit or outrun him, Emmanuel also has his own inner demons with which to contend. As a demobbed soldier who has survived the burned out battlefields of Western Europe, Emmanuel is constantly besieged by ever-present imaginary figures, such as a brutal and callous Scottish sergeant major, who appear to him in the form of pounding migraines, from whom he can only escape by resorting to taking whatever drugs are at hand. The description of the low-life types that frequent the Durban docklands are fascinating, as are the range of prostitutes that tread these pages. The social inequalities of the time, which were entrenched in the National Party's legislative approach to the governance of multiracial South Africa, are revealed in full. The use of such a background is an effective means of keeping alive the memory of the horrendous deeds that were perpetrated by the apartheid state. However, at no stage does Nunn dictate what the response of the reader should be to such inequity and violation of basic human rights. Her primary intent is to tell a first rate story, peopled by three dimensional, credible characters, and this she achieves to the full. Let the Dead Lie is a well rounded, believable novel that should gain a wide audience, as well as being a work in which contemporary historians and those affected by post-traumatic stress disorder should take an interest.
A young boy lies murdered in the stockyards of Durban, South Africa. A few days later, two women are killed in the rooming house where he lived. The South African police bring in their top suspect, Emmanuel Cooper. The problem? Cooper is not the killer. Who is Emmanuel Cooper? He is a World War II veteran who returned to South Africa to become a Detective Sergent in the police force. When a new law sweeps through and reclassifies him as non-white, he loses his job and his status as a white man. He now does undercover work for Major van Niekerk, his former boss in the police. Unwilling to lose Cooper's skills, he now uses him undercover. When Cooper is hauled in and about to be charged with the three murders, van Niekerk works out a deal. Cooper has forty-eight hours to find the real killers or else he will be charged and probably killed. As he races to solve the murders, he is helped by a strange collection of people, a Zulu ex-policeman, a Jewish doctor who has survived the German death camps, and the mistress of his mentor. There are plots and counterplots; betrayals and secrets revealed, making the ultimate secret that much more difficult to reveal. Malla Nunn has written a gritty detective novel that will entrance the reader. Cooper is an intriguing hero, one that the reader will remember long after the last page is read. The setting is done realistically, and the plot unfolds logically. The gut-wrenching reality of the apartheid laws in South Africa are portrayed in a way that takes the reader into the lives of those unjustly discriminated against. This book is recommended for all mystery readers.
mmanual Cooper is a cop in South Africa in the 1950s, during the day of apartheid. Emmanual Cooper is also a cop whose opportunities on the force and in life are limited due to apartheid. However, he has a supporter in the upper echelon who knows that his investigative skills are quite well honed, regardless of his ancestry and his culture's attitudes towards it, and as such, has the opportunity to work. This is the second book I've read in the series – and I've just purchased the next 2 to complete my collection of the series to date. (Yes, BOUGHT – not borrowed from the library or swapped online. If THAT isn't an endorsement, I don't know what is!) RATING: 5 stars.
Not as good as her first and third books but still awesome