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This brutal, fierce neo noir I liked reading it set in South Africa s Cape Town is probablysuited for male readers The relentless pace reminds me of Charlie Huston No character all despicable in their own dark way wins much reader sympathy Violence, corruption, greed, and evil marinate the storyline that fulfills the genre s expectations So you know what you re getting The setting is vivid and often gritty Gatsby, the obese boer inspector, has to rank as the most bent cop I ve ev This brutal, fierce neo noir I liked reading it set in South Africa s Cape Town is probablysuited for male readers The relentless pace reminds me of Charlie Huston No character all despicable in their own dark way wins much reader sympathy Violence, corruption, greed, and evil marinate the storyline that fulfills the genre s expectations So you know what you re getting The setting is vivid and often gritty Gatsby, the obese boer inspector, has to rank as the most bent cop I ve ever encountered in print Roger Smith s Mixed Blood is an extraordinarily brutal thriller Thrillers are not my favorite mystery genre, but I have read a fair number of them certainlythan 50 and never have I encountered scenes of similar savagery Some of the brutality in this novel is gratuitous, but most of it is warranted and serves to convey the message of wretchedness of life in one of the world s most violent places the ghetto in Cape Town.Jack Burn, an American fugitive from justice an ex Marine and Roger Smith s Mixed Blood is an extraordinarily brutal thriller Thrillers are not my favorite mystery genre, but I have read a fair number of them certainlythan 50 and never have I encountered scenes of similar savagery Some of the brutality in this novel is gratuitous, but most of it is warranted and serves to convey the message of wretchedness of life in one of the world s most violent places the ghetto in Cape Town.Jack Burn, an American fugitive from justice an ex Marine and an otherwise decent fellow lives with his family in an upscale neighborhood in Cape Town When two gangbangers high on tik the South African name for meth attempt armed robbery of his house, Jack kills them Being a fugitive, he cannot call the police Benny Mongrel, a local ex convict, now out of prison and working as a guard, figures out what happened Inspector Rudi Barnard, a religious fanatic and a totally depraved policeman who loves to kill people, also discovers the killing and tries to profit from the knowledge The three threads continually intersect each other in the well constructed and captivating plot.Mr Smith vividly portrays the hopeless life in the ghetto For the coloreds, the blacks, and the poor whites time is measured by tik hits Murder is a normal occurrence and a social event in the neighborhood People get necklaced with burning tires and die sizzling while being watched by cheering crowds Inspector Barnard s character is the most terrifying He is a devout Christian, member of a Pentecostal congregation He believes in a God who smites non righteous people As that God s fist on earth he does the smiting, killing men, women and children, pulping heads with cement blocks What is worst is that it is not implausible Mixed Blood is unusual for yet another reason The novel is interesting from the very beginning to the very end The plot in most thrillers that I know begins to sag soon after the promising start Despite the utter barbarity the novel is really outstanding, so I have no other choice but award itFour stars Blurb An American fugitive hides out in Cape Town one of the world s most beautiful and violent cities in this riveting debut thriller that asks Can you ever outrun your past Reluctant bank robber Jack Burn is on the run after a heist in the United States that left 3 million missing and one cop dead Hiding out in Cape Town, South Africa, he is desperate to build a new life for his pregnant wife and young son But on a tranquil evening in their new suburban neighborhood they are the vict Blurb An American fugitive hides out in Cape Town one of the world s most beautiful and violent cities in this riveting debut thriller that asks Can you ever outrun your past Reluctant bank robber Jack Burn is on the run after a heist in the United States that left 3 million missing and one cop dead Hiding out in Cape Town, South Africa, he is desperate to build a new life for his pregnant wife and young son But on a tranquil evening in their new suburban neighborhood they are the victims of a random gangland assault that changes everything.Benny Mongrel, an ex con night watchman guarding a building site next to Burn s home, is another man desperate to escape his past After years in the ghetto gangs of Cape Town he knows who went into Burn s house And what the American did to them He also knows his only chance to save his own brown skin is to forget what he saw.Burn s actions on that night trap them both in a cat and mouse game with Rudi Gatsby Barnard a corrupt Afrikaner cop who loves killing almost as much as he loves Jesus Christ and Disaster Zondi, a fastidious Zulu detective who wishes to settle an old score Once Gatsby smells those missing American millions, the four men are drawn into a web of murder and vengeance that builds to an unforgettable conclusion.My take..I was unaware of Roger Smith, until a recent browse around a Waterstones had me scurrying to the till with Dust Devils I was intrigued enough to dig through his back list and track down this copy of his first novel I m so glad I did.Smith has delivered a fast paced, violent, gritty little book, peppered with intriguing characters from both sides of the tracks Burn an ex US marine with a gambling Jones that forces him on the run, Mongrel a survivor of the ghettos and some serious jail time, now trying to move on with his life and leave the gangs behind and Gatsby a corpulent, stinking, corrupt and zealous Jesus loving cop, feared by all on the impoverished Cape Flats.With Burn fearful of losing his family and his liberty after dealing with a violent home invasion, witnessed by Mongrel and Gatsby under threat from an outside investigation, led by Zondi, their paths cross.Gatsby cracks Burn s cover and senses opportunity to get out from under Zondi and mayhem follows In addition to the strong characters Smith has drawn, none of them particularly likeable, but all memorable his portrayal of a city of contrasting fortunes acts as an interesting back drop for the book Gangs, ghetto, drug use, tik whores, poverty and apathyit s all in here Having recently read both Deon Meyer and Mike Nicol, I would put Smith and Mixed Blood equal first with Nicol s Payback and a little way ahead of Meyer s Trackers, in my SA crime league table I have further books to read from all three, which I m hoping will enliven the months ahead As this was Smith s debut novel, can he possibly get better with his subsequent books I ll track down the others and find out,Cape Town1 Mixed Blood 2009 2 Wake Up Dead 2010 NovelsDust Devils 2011 Capture 2013 Novellas Ishmael Toffee 2012 Best book this month so far, 5 from 5.Highly recommended.I bought my copy on e bay after a bit of bargain hunting Read back in November, 2012http col2910.blogspot.co.uk 2012 11 Jack Burn is a bank robber Unfortunately one of his jobs has gone wrong Three million dollars and a dead cop, now finds Jack and his family making a new life in Cape Town, South Africa One night, something terrible happens, while the family is eating dinner Something, so bad that it causes Jack to take matters into his own hands Benny Mongrel is an ex con He is trying to turn his life around Benny is now a night guard watchman for a building site The site is right next to the Burn s h Jack Burn is a bank robber Unfortunately one of his jobs has gone wrong Three million dollars and a dead cop, now finds Jack and his family making a new life in Cape Town, South Africa One night, something terrible happens, while the family is eating dinner Something, so bad that it causes Jack to take matters into his own hands Benny Mongrel is an ex con He is trying to turn his life around Benny is now a night guard watchman for a building site The site is right next to the Burn s house What Benny witnesses that night at the Burn s house will change Jack and Benny s lives forever Rudi Gatsby Barnard is a dirty cop Who loves killing Once he gets a whiff of the stolen three million dollars, nothing will stop him from take it for himself Then there is Disaster Zondi, a Zulu detective looking to settle an old score Soon all four men find themselves in a deadly game of car and mouse Mixed Blood is author, Roger Smith s first novel I thought this book was good It had lots of action, drama, deceit, nice plot and a great ending The best sign you can get that a book is worth picking up and reading is when it grabs you from beginning till the end Each character brought something to the storyline that helped draw me in Whether it be Jack fighting for his family, Benny trying to change and taking care of his only companion, a dog, or Rudi s ruthlessness, and lastly Zondi s persistence Roger Smith is one author to watch out for Anyone who enjoys a good thriller should read Mixed Blood It s always a special moment when you discover a writer who can actually write This book barely puts a foot wrong in the stylistic department The characters exist on the edge of a world that has two faces The sunny cosmopolitan part of Cape Town where the Euro trash bask in days that seem filled with only promise, and then the other side where there is no promise and no way out Violence is as normal as bottled water in Camps Bay Smith captures that contradiction perfectly.There is no let up It s always a special moment when you discover a writer who can actually write This book barely puts a foot wrong in the stylistic department The characters exist on the edge of a world that has two faces The sunny cosmopolitan part of Cape Town where the Euro trash bask in days that seem filled with only promise, and then the other side where there is no promise and no way out Violence is as normal as bottled water in Camps Bay Smith captures that contradiction perfectly.There is no let up in the pace from the first page to the last I cannot recommend the book enough So much of the crime thriller genre today feels like it comes from the same cookie cutter, one book feels like the next Tough guy cop who has a problem with authority, booze and smoking solves another crime Well this is nothing like that It has it s own character,in other words it s original That alone would make the book worthwhile, but Smith can write and tell a good yarn I don t think I skipped a page, which for me is nearly a first South Africa is definitely gaining in stature on the international crime fiction stage Deon Meyer has garnered plenty of acclaim, and other authors like Smith and Margie Orford, amongst several others, are certainly putting their local crime fiction on the map.In MIXED BLOOD, reluctant bank robber Jack Burn is on the run after a heist in the United States that left 3 million missing and one cop dead Hiding out in Cape Town, he is desperate to build a new life for his pregnant wife and young s South Africa is definitely gaining in stature on the international crime fiction stage Deon Meyer has garnered plenty of acclaim, and other authors like Smith and Margie Orford, amongst several others, are certainly putting their local crime fiction on the map.In MIXED BLOOD, reluctant bank robber Jack Burn is on the run after a heist in the United States that left 3 million missing and one cop dead Hiding out in Cape Town, he is desperate to build a new life for his pregnant wife and young son But on a tranquil evening in their new suburban neighborhood they are the victims of a random gangland assault that changes everything.Benny Mongrel, an ex con night watchman guarding a building site next to Burn s home, is another man desperate to escape his past After years in the ghetto gangs of Cape Town he knows who went into Burn s house And what the American did to them He also knows his only chance to save his own skin is to forget what he saw Burn s actions on that night trap them both in a cat and mouse game with Rudi Gatsby Barnard a corrupt Afrikaner cop who loves killing almost as much as he loves Jesus Christ and Disaster Zondi, a fastidious Zulu detective who wishes to settle an old score Once Gatsby smells those missing American millions, the four men are drawn into a web of murder and vengeance.I really enjoyed MIXED BLOOD It twists and turns in a violent yet engaging journey that is filled with memorable characters I ll definitely be readingof Smith s work |READ KINDLE ⚖ Mixed Blood ♠ Reluctant bank robber Jack Burn is on the run after a heist in the United States that left three million dollars missing and one cop dead Hiding out in Cape Town, South Africa, he is desperate to build a new life for his pregnant wife and young son But on a tranquil evening in their new suburban neighborhood, they are the victims of a random gangland break in Benny Mongrel, an ex con night watchman, knows who went into Burn s house, and what the American did to them Burn s actions soon trap them both in a cat and mouse game with Rudi Gatsby Barnard, a corrupt Afrikaner cop Once Gatsby smells those missing American millions, the men are drawn into a web of murder and vengeance that builds to an unforgettable conclusion I won a copy of this book through FirstReads I was disgusted by the style and language that the book was written in, but they helped the visualization and seemed to sincerely portray the events that were being described in the book, i.e drug dealers, ex cons and corrupt cops I think that the ending was a good one to show that there is no really justice served to anyone and it remains a world where stronger andpowerful individuals suppress the rest Overall, for me, it seemed an average I won a copy of this book through FirstReads I was disgusted by the style and language that the book was written in, but they helped the visualization and seemed to sincerely portray the events that were being described in the book, i.e drug dealers, ex cons and corrupt cops I think that the ending was a good one to show that there is no really justice served to anyone and it remains a world where stronger andpowerful individuals suppress the rest Overall, for me, it seemed an average thriller that made me feel reluctant to visit South Africa A page turning thriller set in and around Cape Town, telling the truth about day to day life in South Africa, and in particular Cape Town Wonderful thriller by this author, absolutely loved it Not for the faint hearted, but keeps you thrilled to the end Loved it Very descriptive of beautiful Cape Town and its surrounds, sadly reflecting the criminal side of life there Excellent novel by Roger Smith. If I was able, I would have rated this a 4 1 2 star being just that bit better.If you are looking for a thriller you can t put down and like to read about how people live in a place like South Africa, blending first, second and third world, then this is a good selection.At times, it feels very violent reflecting its setting in a place that can be that violent jarring and a stark contrast against the natural beauty of Cape Town I love that it keeps you guessing till the end and look forward t If I was able, I would have rated this a 4 1 2 star being just that bit better.If you are looking for a thriller you can t put down and like to read about how people live in a place like South Africa, blending first, second and third world, then this is a good selection.At times, it feels very violent reflecting its setting in a place that can be that violent jarring and a stark contrast against the natural beauty of Cape Town I love that it keeps you guessing till the end and look forward to readingfrom this author