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Five fabulous reads

International criminals. Gangs. Monsters of cruelty. Stories to keep you awake at night …

Peter and Adele Robinson never had a chance. Brought up by an alcoholic, violent father and a weak, beaten mother, their Manchester childhood prepared them for a life of crime and struggle. In Heather Burnside’s debut thriller, Born Bad, Adele breaks the mould and makes something of herself. Peter is not so lucky and sinks into the world of crime and gangs. Then Adele is forced to confront her violent past and, dragged back into her worst nightmares, there’s only one person she can turn to when her life is on the line … her brother, Peter. Head of Zeus, R185.

Malachi Dakwaa is mute, thanks to genocidal attackers who cut off his tongue and killed his family. Then a pharmaceutical company makes him an offer. In return for six months as warder at a top secret organ farming project, the company will graft a new tongue for him. In TC Farren’s The Book of Malachi, he discovers the ‘donors’ at the offshore facility are all war lords or mass murderers. But are the prisoners as evil as the company says they are? Do they deserve their fate? Malachi faces a terrible dilemma. Must he leave them to suffer this medical nightmare or risk his life and set them free? This gripping thriller with its unusual hero and thought-provoking plot is a compelling read. Kwela, R320.

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International criminals thrive in South Africa … Gauteng Province is not nicknamed Gangsters’ Paradise for nothing! So when detective Ellie McKenna goes undercover in the Cape’s dark underbelly, she’s well aware of the dangers involved. If it’s not the mafia, it’s the triads or the Nigerians Ellie will have to face – and fool – when she’s hired to protect the girlfriend of a dodgy nightclub owner. But how do you protect a girl whose friends are all dirty dealers? Who do you trust? How do you survive in a world peopled by brutal thugs? In Wilna Adriaanse’s Blind Side, Ellie is well aware that the brave frequently end up dead … blindsided by a faceless enemy. It’s a gripping read. Tafelberg, R300.

Thomas Harris, author of Silence of the Lambs, is back, conjuring up the monsters who lurk among humans. Millions of dollars in cartel gold lie hidden in a Miami mansion. Ruthless Hans-Peter Schneider, driven by unspeakable appetites, leads the pack of those hunting the gold. The caretaker of the house, Cari Mora,  has escaped the violence of her country and works at many jobs to survive. Beautiful Cari catches the eye of Hans-Peter as he closes in on the treasure, but Cari has surprising skills and her will to survive has been tested before… Heinemann, R290.

When a monster brutally kills Dr Bruno Hamel’s beloved seven-year-old daughter, he plans revenge of the most terrible kind. Seven Days is Patrick Senécal’s scary tale of how the grief-stricken father plans to torture the man responsible for his daughter’s death. Hamel manages to take his target hostage, but he hasn’t reckoned with detective Hervé Mercure. Will Mercure track down Hamel before he takes the idea of revenge too far? This first rate psychological thriller will keep you up all night. Simon & Schuster, R300.

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