Detective Emmanuel Cooper is sent to Jacob’s Rest, a small town on the border between South Africa and Mozambique, to deal with the murder of an Afrikaner police officer. Cooper, an Englishman, assisted by a local Zulu police officer, begins his investigation but is then delegated to a lesser role when the police Security Branch gets involved. The Security Branch thinks there is a political motive behind the killing but Cooper believes differently. Recognizing his own risk going against the Security Branch, Cooper digs to find the murderer and discovers that new apartheid laws impacting the relationships between blacks and whites as well as those between Afrikaners and the English complicate the situation.
Author Malla Nunn was born in Swaziland. Her book, the first in a series, provides a complex mystery with intriguing characters and evocative of a time and place.
Reviewed by ch, 3/10. Other reviews by ch.