Category Archives: South Africa


He did it again!

Deon Meyer wrote another captivating book, shorter that his other works. Let me explain why this one is sooo much shorter. This book has been published as a give away during the weeks of thrillers The Netherlands. Every year there are some weeks with special attention to thrillers. One writer is asked to write a short book to give as a present, when you buy books for a certain minimum amount, during these weeks. I do not know if this book has been published in South Africa.

In this book we meet again Bennie Griessel. He and his companion Vaugh Cupido are called to investigate a dead body, a bleached body, that has been found by a travelling group of people.  When it is clear who is the body (Alicia Lewis, who works in the art world, to discover stolen or lost art), the journey start to find out when and how and why and by whom?

Sprinkled through the story are flashbacks to the Dutch painter Fabritius, a pupil of the famous Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn (1606 – 1669). This Fabritius is followed by some people and he tries to escape.

The connection between the past (in the Dutch Republic) and the present (in the Republic of South Africa) is a painting by this Fabritius. It seems this painting has travelled to South Africa, many years ago. Who can be the owner of this painting of the lady in the blue cloack?

Will this painting, if it exist in real life, be part of the Dutch heritage or the South African heritage? The search for the murderer of Alicia Lewis brings to the fore the importance of the painting and the importance of the Boer history, and therefor the South African history.

Will the murderer be found? Will the mystery be solved, the mystery of the Bleached Body and the mystery of the painting?

To me it would have been nice to read more about the search for the painting, tracing the journey from a possible arrival in the past on the shores of Africa to the present day. But a book like this one has its limits, due to the demands of the publisher.

But is an authentic Deon Meyer, with a twist in the tail.

Deon Meyer – Die vrou in die blou mantel – 2017 

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor die vrou in die blou mantel deon meyer


It took some time for me to take this book from my shelf, and when I started reading this debut I kept on reading. Rachel Zadok has done a good job with this novel.

The story centers around a young girl named Faith, she lives on a farm with her father Marius and her mother Bella. Mother Bella has a perception of spirits (tokoloshe) that dwell around the farm, she even has tried to paint them. These painting occupy walls at the farm. The family slowly but surely desintegrates and father Marius decides to leave his wife and child. When Bella is left to fight her fight on her own it becomes clear she is not able to look after herself and her child. Wellwishers (including Oom Piet) make sure a lady called Nomsa takes over the work at the farm and the care of Faith. A special relationship develops between the two.  An outsider is able to do the work that the insiders are not able to do. Nomsa is a powerful woman who has to find her way in a house filled with antagonizing forces. But she shows herself able for the job. This first part of the book ends with the violent death of Nomsa. This part of the novel started in the year 1985.

In the second part we move to the year 1999 and Johannesburg. Faith had to leave the farm after the death of Nomsa and the move of her mother Bella to a psychiatric hospital where she is treated. Faith now stays with a old friend to her mother, named Mia, and the daughter of Mia. Now the story develops with speed. Faith receives the news that her mother has passed away. She gets the ownership of the farm, where managers have taken care (in their own way) of the farm. Faith takes the decision to return to the farm to have a look at her property or will she stay to run her farm? Will she get a fuller picture of her past when she returns to her roots?

Faith tries to get to grip with her life and her surroundings. When she was a young girl at the farm with her desintegrating family and at a later age to settle as a woman in her own right. Zadok follows these traces in the life of faith, the attempts to take the proper course in her life, while being true to her self an d her father and her father, and Nomsa, the lady who was murdered by ..

Thanks Rachel Zadok for your debut. 

Rachel Zadok – Gem Squash Tokoloshe – 2005

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor rachel zadok gem squash tokoloshe

Renowned South African Author Karel Schoeman

The news about the death of the South African writer is spreading from South Africa to the remaining parts of the world. Here you will find an article from Nigeria about the death of Karel Schoeman. 

South African author Karel Schoeman commits suicide

Many years the South African author Karel Schoeman decided to end his own life. A previous attempt did not work out, so now he has a second attempt, this time he managed to fulfill the promise he made himself.

Read about it here.

Renowned author Karel Schoeman described how

Before he started his way to his death the South African writer Karel Schoeman was clear about his reasons for his chosen death. He wrote his thoughts on it down as a legacy and as a start for a discussion on the topic of the chosen death. 

Read more about it here

Listen to John Conyngham

Hazara? Yes, Hazara. It did not recognize the name so I did q quick and very short research into the name and I found myself in Afghanistan and surrounding countries. Did the South African John write about these people, called Hazara? Well, it could be, no need to stick to the familiar. Great to widen your scope.

But when I extended my research I discovered that the subtitle is about an African farm. An African farm in Afghanistan? Well, it could be, Africans like to move around.

The next step showed that the African farm, of the subtitle fame, was at the coast of the Indian Ocean in Natal, South Africa. It got the name Hazara from the regiment of the British Indian Army in which James (married to Mia) served. James and Mia started this farm in 1924, when they were newly weds.

Listen to John Conyngham tell about the farm that is intertwined with his own life. 

a letter of farewell

The South African writer Karel Schoeman wrote a letter to whom it may concern. Everyone can have a look into this letter and find out about the reasons given by Schoeman for ending his won life. The revelation came as a shock.

Here you find the letter.