Mixed Blood (ISBN 9781848867587 )
A corrupt police officer, a jailbird and an American fugitive find themselves drawn to one another in a story that is violent and brutally honest. It will literally “grip you from page one” as it says on the cover. Smith handles issues of race, the contrasting lifestyles of Cape Town’s bourgeois and the poverty-stricken in modern-day South Africa; and how these intertwine, with such effortlessness and honesty that you find yourself often both shocked and in awe of the characters. This is not a tale for sensitive readers; if you are easily offended and are prone to clutching your pearls, this is not for you. But go on, try it, I dare you not to like it.
Wake up Dead (ISBN 9781846687570)
This story is all about choices. You have to make the right choice under desperate conditions, otherwise you could end up dead. In this second gripping novel, Smith once again intertwines the lives of the “posh” people of Cape Town with the poverty-stricken lives of the people from the Flats. Roger Smith has the unique talent of getting the facts SO right, and using his words like magic to create characters and a storyline so believable that for many in Cape Town, this is a reality. What I liked most about this story is that Smith explores a lifestyle so far away from mine that it is something I can’t even fathom it; yet it is the real-life story of people living only a few kilometers from me. The story carries a heavy sense of irony that leaves you wondering, as the story unfolds, whether any of the characters really had any choice at all.
Roger Smith is now my favourite crime writer. Of all crime writers I have ever read. Sorry Harlan, James and Patricia.