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Listen to krimiman Deon Meyer on writing

Alan Cowell’s Permanent Removal (Jacana Media) appeared in March followed by Charlotte Otter’s Karkloof Blue (Modjaji Books) in May. August brought an amazing collection of new krimis – all published by Penguin – from: Karin Brynard (Our Fathers), Ina van Zyl’s debut (Dead in the Water) and Double Echo by Francois Bloemhof, his first in English, although there is a long backlist in Afrikaans. In September, Mike Nicol’s Agents of the State (Umuzi), followed by Sally Andrew’s Tannie Maria & the Satanic Mechanic (Umuzi) in November. Paul Mendelson’s third novel, The History of Blood appeared in the UK in July and in South Africa (Jonathan Ball) in December.
First on the shelves was Paul Mendelson’s second crime novel, The Serpentine Road (Constable), followed in May by Mike Nicol’s Power Play (Umuzi), and a few weeks later in June, Roger Smith’s Sacrifices (Jacana). July saw the publication of CM Elliott’s second novel, Sibanda and the Death’s Head Moth (Jacana) as well as Michael Stanley’s A Death in the Family (Orenda Books) and in August, Michele Rowe’s Hour of Darkness (Penguin). September and Deon Meyer’s Icarus (Hodder & Stoughton) went onto the shelves. The year ended with H J Golakai’s The Score (Kwela) and Sally Andrew’s smash hit, Recipes for Love and Murder (Umuzi).
First up was a debut crime novel from Joanne Macgregor called Dark Whispers (Protea Boekhuis). Another debut novel in May this time from Penny Lorimer with Finders Weepers (Umuzi), and Amanda Coetzee’s fourth crime novel but her first with a local setting, One Shot (Pan Macmillan). New on the shelves in June were By Any Means (Human & Rousseau) by Kurt Ellis and Balthasar’s Gift by Charlotte Otter (Modjaji Books). In July Deon Meyer published his latest in English, Cobra (Hodder & Stoughton), and in August Chris Karsten wrapped up his trilogy with Face-Off (Human & Rousseau). The much anticipated translation of Karin Brynard’s Plaasmoord was published in October as Weeping Waters (Penguin), and the year ended with One Man (Kwela) by Anonymous and Now I See You (Modjaji Books) by Priscilla Holmes . Out in the UK in April but not really heard of here was a debut novel from Paul Mendelson, The First Rule of Survival (Constable & Robinson), and the fourth novel from Malla Nunn, Present Darkness (Atria/Emily Bestler Books and published in the US).
In February came Lady Limbo (Jacana) by Consuelo Roland; In May Napoleon Bones (Umuzi) by Jenny Hobbs, and City of Blood (Random House) by MD Villiers. In June came What Hidden Lies (Penguin) by Michele Rowe, and then in July Deadly Harvest (HarperCollinsPublishers) by Michael Stanley, and Water Music by Margie Orford (Jonathan Ball). August saw the publication of Black Widow Society by Angela Makholwa (Pan Macmillan), Of Cops & Robbers by Mike Nicol (Umuzi) and The Skinner’s Revenge by Chris Karsten (Human&Rousseau).
When in Broad Daylight I Open My Eyes by Greg Lazarus published by Kwela in April, Solace by Andrew Brown (Zebra) in May, Allegiance (Umuzi) by Trevor R Corbett and The Top Prisoner of C-Max (Umuzi) by Wessel Ebersohn in June, and Pale Horses (Umuzi) by Jassy Mackenzie in August. Publications in October include Capture (Serpent’s Tail) by Roger Smith; 7 Days (Hodder & Stoughton) by Deon Meyer; The Skin Collector (Human & Rousseau) by Chris Karsten. In the final months of the year came Just a Dead Man (Jacana) by Margaret von Klemperer; Silent Valley (Pan Macmillan Australia) by Malla Nunn, and The Murder of Norman Ware by Rosamund Kendal (Jacana).
Counting the Coffins by Diale Tlholwe
Black Heart by Mike Nicol
Death of the Mantis by Michael Stanley
Fallout by Sue Rabie
The Lazarus Effect by H J Golakai
Worst Case by Jassy Mackenzie
Bitter Pill by Peter Church
Dust Devils by Roger Smith
A Sailor’s Honour by Chris Marnewick
Divine Justice by Joanne Hichens
Trackers by Deon Meyer
Gallows Hill by Margie Orford
Killer Country by Mike Nicol
Blood at Bay by Sue Rabie
Die Ondenkbare deur Isa Konrad
Die Onbekendes deur Francois Bloemhof
In Landsbelang deur Quintus van der Merwe
Thirteen Hours by Deon Meyer
The Soldier Who Said No by Chris Marnewick
Young Blood by Sifiso Mzobe
Wake Up Dead by Roger Smith
Tooth and Nailed by Sarah Lotz
Those Who Love Night by Wessel Ebersohn
Stolen Lives by Jassy Mackenzie
Let the Dead Lie by Malla Nunn
Spoor deur Deon Meyer

If 2008 was a major year for local krimis, then 2009 was the year of consolidation with a number of writers making good on their promise of the previous year and the heralded return of veteran Wessel Ebersohn after wandering in the wilderness for 19 years. Adding to their reputations were Margie Orford with the third in her Clare Hart series, Francois Bloemhof, Chanette Paul, Jassy Mackenzie, Piet Steyn, Rob Marsh, and Michael Stanley. Among the year’s notable firsts were Roger Smith, Sarah Lotz, and Brandon Carstens with a graphic novel.

Harde Woorde deur Francois Bloemhof
Mixed Blood by Roger Smith
A Deadly Trade by Michael Stanley
Beasts of Prey by Rob Marsh
Project H by Brandon Carstens
Exhibit A by Sarah Lotz
A Beautiful Place to Die by Malla Nunn
Boheem deur Chanette Paul
Seisoen van Sonde deur Chris Karsten
The October Killings by Wessel Ebersohn
My Brother’s Keeper by Jassy Mackenzie
Bottelnek deur Piet Steyn
Karoonag deur Deon Meyer
Geld wat stom is deur Tinus Viviers
Daddy’s Girl by Margie Orford
Plaasmoord deur Karin Brynard
Skerpion deur Wynand Coetzer
Afrspraak in Venesie deur Francois Bloemhof
This anthology of short stories appeared early in 2009 and is a good introduction to the SA crime fiction scene: Bad Company, (Pan Macmillan) edited by Joanne Hichens, features work by Margie Orford, Deon Meyer, Richard Kunzmann, David Dison, Jassy Mackenzie, Diale Tlholwe, Andrew Brown, Tracey Farren, Mike Nicol, Peter Church, Tim Keegan, Michael Williams, Jane Taylor, Michael Stanley, Dirk Jordaan, Meshack Masondo, and Joanne Hichens.

It’s likely that 2008 will go down as the break-out year for our crime fiction. Why? Simply because during those momentous twelve months there were books by the stalwarts, Deon Meyer and Richard Kunzmann, but also a whole lot of new names, Jassy Mackenzie, Michael Stanley, Angela Makholwa, Andrew Gray, Peter Church, Diale Tlholwe, Sue Rabie, and Tracy Gilpin hit the bookshops. The krimi scene looked like it was shaping up.

Blood Safari by Deon Meyer:
Dead-End Road by Richard Kunzmann
Payback by Mike Nicol
Chameleon by Barbara Erasmus
A Carrion Death by Michael Stanley
Dark Video by Peter Church
Snoeisker deur Piet Steyn
The Boston Snowplough
Random Violence by Jassy Mackenzie
Double Cross by Tracy Gilpin
Ancient Rites by Diale Tlholwe
Fortuin deur Chanette Paul
Rooi Luiperd deur Francois Bloemhof
13 Uur deur Deon Meyer