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City of Blood by M. D. Villiers
  

Maxim Jakubowski's view...

A Maxim Jakubowski selected title.

Longlisted for the CWA John Creasey Dagger 2013.

Siphiwe is a nineteen-year old South African orphan dreaming of a better life and haunted by the memories of the brutal murder of his elder brother. A street stabbing draws him into a savage street war as a a notorious crime lord has returned to Johannesburg from Nigeria and violence explodes. Set against a bleak background drawn from today's headlines, this is a fast-moving, vivid and thought-provoking thriller as well as a moving story of coming of age, revenge and redemption.

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Synopsis

City of Blood by M. D. Villiers

Siphiwe, a nineteen year old orphan dreaming of a better life, is haunted by memories of the brutal death of his elder brother. When a woman selling mangoes is stabbed on the street in front of him, Siphiwe rushes to her aid, desperate to stop history repeating itself, but in doing so unwittingly crosses the paths of two very dangerous men. McCarthy Letswe, notorious crime lord, has returned home to Johannesburg after several years in exile, determined to wreak his revenge on Abaju, the Nigerian gangster responsible for Letswe's forced departure, and the man now seen as Johannesburg's king of crime. Siphiwe's actions have set him on a collision course with both Letswe and Abaju, and as the violence on the streets intensifies, and the danger to those he loves most increases, Siphiwe is soon forced to seek help amongst criminals and police alike.


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Reviews

'[A] terrific debut. Siphiwe is an original hero. Secondary characters - Grace, who runs the hostel, and Adrian the white cop - are exceptionally well drawn, and the city's vibrant, exciting, dangerous atmosphere is superbly portrayed' -- Marcel Berlins The Times

'Explosive and emotional, a journey to the dark side you won't forget' -- Dreda Say Mitchell

'A quite stunning first novel... weaving together of so many scams, double-crosses, crimes and betrayals committed by a large and fluid cast of characters, that at times I thought Elmore Leonard was directing the plot. It is that good' -- Mike Ripley Shots Mag

'Johannesburg, a turbulent city with a fearsome reputation for lawlessness, is fertile ground for a crime writer, and South African author MD Villiers makes the most of it in her first novel. Strong and vivid, City of Blood is the coming-of-age story of both Siphiwe and the slightly older Progress. There is plenty of action, but also, amid the chaos and carnage, a sense of redemption' -- Laura Wilson Guardian

'Set in the dangerous and violent streets of Johannesburg. A debut with a stunning evocation of place and an original, engaging hero. Fast-moving and vivid, this thought-provoking thriller is a story of coming of age, revenge and redemption' -- CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger judges

About the Author

MD Villiers was born in Johannesburg and studied psychology at the University of Pretoria. Her passion for the country she grew up in provides her with a backdrop for her fiction in which she explores life in a country always on the brink of change.She was shortlisted for the CWA Debut Dagger for unpublished writers in 2007 and is now based in London, but often visits South Africa, where her family still lives. City of Blood is her debut novel.

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Book Info

Publication date

9th May 2013

Author

M. D. Villiers

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Publisher

Harvill Secker an imprint of Vintage

Format

Paperback

Categories

Thriller / Suspense
All Shortlists and Winners
Crime / Mystery
Maxim Jakubowski's Selection


ISBN

9781846557149

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