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Let the Dead Lie

Malla Nunn, Author
Malla Nunn, Author . Washington Square $15 (382p) ISBN 978-1-4165-8622-7
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With this gripping sequel set in South Africa in 1953, Nunn, who is also a screenwriter, proves that her impressive debut novel, A Beautiful Place to Die , was no fluke. A former police detective sergeant, Emmanuel Cooper is now working undercover on the docks of Durban Harbor to document police corruption for his old boss, Major van Niekerk. When Emmanuel comes across the body of a white slum kid, who ran errands in the port area, with his throat slit, he observes that the notebook the 11-year-old boy used to record orders is missing. The authorities regard Emmanuel as the prime suspect in this crime as well as in the subsequent murders of a landlady and her black maid, whose throats are also cut. Van Niekerk manages to get Emmanuel out of jail, but with a strict two-day deadline to find the real killer. Nunn deftly balances suspense and deduction as she offers a revealing glimpse into South African society under the segregation laws promulgated by the ruling National Party. (Apr.)

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