Sunday, April 11, 2010

Wake Up Dead reviewed in Philadelphia Inquirer

My review of Roger Smith's Wake Up Dead appears in Sunday's Philadelphia Inquirer.
"The thriller," I write, "the second novel from its South African author, is chock-full of types from those movies. An adventurer who comes home looking for what’s his. A woman in trouble and living by her wits. A crook who tries, too late, to make good. A hint of redemption. Even, after a fashion, a doomed story of obsessive love.

"Only the scene is not New York, San Francisco, or some nameless Midwestern town; it’s violent, deeply divided Cape Town, mostly the deadly slums known as the Flats. The setting recaptures all the blood and menace that time and nostalgia have effaced from Raymond Chandler’s mean streets — and redoubles them."
I also sneak in a plug for two more of my favorite crime authors, list a few more names from South Africa's flourishing crime fiction scene, and point the way to a good source for even more information. Read the complete review here after 3 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time and, in the future, on a good database near you.

© Peter Rozovsky 2010

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11 Comments:

Blogger Roger Smith said...

Peter, I really appreciate the insightful (and entertaining!) review of WAKE UP DEAD. Love your description of the Cape Town slums: "grim as any steampunk Victorian hellhole."

Thanks, also, for shining the spotlight on South African crime fiction.

April 11, 2010  
Blogger Dennis Tafoya said...

Excellent review, Peter! Hope to run into you around town soon.

Dennis Tafoya

April 11, 2010  
Blogger Mack said...

A good review of one of my favorite books (and authors), Peter.

Jassy Mackenzie is another South African crime writer to watch. I just finished Random Violence and like it very much.

April 11, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

You're welcome, Roger. I'm especially pleased that you found the review entertaining. I had fun writing it, and I hope readers will have fun reading the book. I wanted to avoid approaching the novel as a grim slab of sociology.

April 11, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks, Dennis. Maybe we'll cross paths at a Philadelphia Noir event, if not before.

April 11, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks, Mack. "Random Violence" is high on my TBR list. It's interesting that its opening scene is somewhat similar to the opening of the Margie Orford short story to which I allude in my review.

April 11, 2010  
Blogger Paul D. Brazill said...

Top review. I'm really looking forward to WAKE UP DEAD!

April 12, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks, Paul. It wouldn't surprise me to see this one turn up on some awards lists early next year.

April 12, 2010  
Blogger adrian.mckinty said...

Peter

Very nice review. Is this a new or newish gig?

April 12, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

It's not new, but it's not exactly a gig either. I review a few books a year on an ad-hoc basis.

April 12, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Oh, and thanks.

April 12, 2010  

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