It has all the hallmarks of a great novel: murder, sexual tension, racial conflict and the existential angst of a South African grappling with returning to the country of his birth after a long time living abroad.
Peter, a writer living in London, returns to his hometown, Alfredville, when his white cousin is murdered, apparently by her coloured husband who is a policeman.
But he soon realises everything isn’t as he first believed. Complicating matters is the fact his best friend at school is now head of the local police station – and he’s still peeved because Peter left.
It’s well written but because Heyns is such an acclaimed writer my expectations were too high.
I felt he could have fleshed out the characters more and I found it disappointing that I was able to guess who the killer was before the end.
Lost Ground by Michiel Heyns
Jonathan Ball, R151