Our country's dark underworld

2012-02-01 00:00

ROGER Smith’s latest action-packed thriller, Dust Devils , is set in present-day South Africa and focuses on issues that have plagued our country for many decades — crime, corrupt and clandestine politics, injustice, sexism and polygamy.

Down-and-out journalist Robert Dell is framed for a horrific crime, which has far-reaching consequences for him and the country’s justice system. Dell then embarks on a journey with his estranged father, Bobby Goodbread, to clear his name and seek vengeance on the person who framed him, warlord Inja Mazibuko.

As they head to Mazibuko’s home in the dusty, desolate hills of northern KwaZulu-Natal, Dell realises that Mazibuko is merely a puppet of the national justice system — the real culprit behind the crime. At the same time, Mazibuko, who is suffering from full-blown Aids, is about to marry a young virgin in a foolish attempt to cure himself of the ravaging disease.

Dell’s quest for redemption reveals a country that is pillaged by corrupt, power-hungry men, and one wonders if Dell will ever find justice.

Smith’s vivid descriptions of post-apartheid life in South Africa realistically capture the sinister dealings of the country’s dark underworld, and make for a thrilling read.

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