Book: Monkey Business - Mike Nicol

Rating: 4/5

The tragic story of the murder of Anni Dewani is relayed in this slim yet engrossing book.

Instead of simply retelling the well-known details of how the beautiful Anni was murdered in a township hijacking while honeymooning in Cape Town with Shrien Dewani, her husband of 12 days, Nicol sets out how the shocking event and its aftermath have been portrayed in the media and by politicians, policemen, family members, friends, spin doctors, bloggers, lawyers and more.

He offers no commentary but lets the story unfold by skilfully presenting material in a mostly chronological fashion.

It’s fascinating and all leads to one question: did Shrien Dewani organise the hit and if so, why? As Nicol says in a thoughtful afterword, “The killing of Anni Dewani has cut deeply into the social workings of South Africa”.

An easy-to-read, clever, layered book that’s as much a social commentary as a whodunit.

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