The year is 1962. Young Lieutenant Tromp Kramer of the Trekkersburg Murder and Robbery Squad has been ordered up to Jafini, a small, dusty town in northern Zululand, to investigate the "hero's death" of the town's chief detective, Maaties Kritzinger—another Afrikaner maverick, and one with many secrets. Kramer finds himself increasingly identifying with the victim as the investigation proceeds.
And then his path crosses that of Bantu Detective Sergeant Mickey Zondi, who is trying to locate a multiple killer whose summary execution will quiet the spirits of his ancestors. Despite the racial differences, the two men sense a kinship ... one that might prove dangerous in rural South Africa in the year of Nelson Mandela's imprisonment.
Praise for James McClure:
"[McClure is] a distinguished crime novelist who has created in his Afrikaner Tromp Kramer and Bantu Sergeant Zondi two detectives who are as far from stereotypes as any in the genre."
—P. D. James
"McClure's stories ... have been noteworthy in equal measure for their poignant evocation of [South Africa], their perception of partnership, and their acute sense of sexual obsession."
"The pace is fast, the solution ingenious. Above all, however, is the author's extraordinary naturalistic style. He is that rarity—a sensitive writer who can carry his point without forcing."
—The New York Times Book Review
"Soho completes its reprinting of one of the finest police series to begin in the 1970s, James McClure's eight books about Tromp Kramer and Mickey Zondi, a South African biracial detective team in the days of Apartheid."
—Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine