Roger Smith is an accomplished screenwriter, director, and producer. He is at work on a second stand-alone thriller set in and around Cape Town, where he currently lives.
Screenwriter Smith offers a gritty tale of corruption and vengeance set in South Africa in his absorbing debut. On the verge of financial ruin, American Jack Burn, a security specialist, reluctantly joined a bank robbery plot that he hoped would save his family from disaster. The scheme ended badly, with most of his accomplices dead, along with a policeman, turning Burn, who made off with millions, into a wanted fugitive. Under a new identity, Burn has succeeded in making a new life with his wife and four-year-old son in Cape Town, South Africa. Their tenuous stability ends after two meth-heads invade the Burnses' home and threaten violence. While Jack manages to kill the intruders and dispose of the bodies, the incident draws the unwelcome attention of Insp. Rudi Barnard, a dirty cop who rules the area known as Cape Flats. The grim denouement may not satisfy all readers, but Smith's taut prose bodes well for future thrillers from his pen. Author tour. (Feb.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Smith's debut is a fast-paced crime story set in Cape Town, South Africa, where an uneasy relationship exists among white, black, and "colored" people of varying ethnicity. Jack Burn, an American security-systems expert, fled the United States with wife and child in tow following his forced participation in a bank robbery during which a cop was killed. Now living in the wealthy heights of Cape Town, he and his family find their life further roiled when two thugs on meth invade their home one night. In order to save his pregnant wife and young son from harm, Jack is forced to kill both men. This event will threaten his marriage and his son's life; entangle him in the affairs of Benny Mongrel, an ex-con also trying to escape a desperate past; and put him in the crosshairs of fat Rudi Barnard, a corrupt Afrikaner cop who kills with the ease of a psychopath. Cleverly plotted, this is a gripping thriller that follows believable (if sometimes grotesque) characters along a desperate rush to ruin. The brutal landscape will remind readers of Deon Meyer's best South African novels. Highly recommended for all public libraries. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 10/1/08.]-Ron Terpening, Univ. of Arizona, Phoenix Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
"With its shattering sense of place and satisfying plot twists, this book will grip you from page one." --Chelsea Cain, author of Sweetheart and Evil at Heart"Almost impossible to put down, offering the rewards of a literary thriller combined with the zip of a powerful movie." --The Florida Times Union"Like Pelecanos, Smith captures the humanity burning in lives trapped by poverty and prejudice." --Booklist"Smith's Cape Town is almost Dickensian in its presentation of thugs and murderers [and] an especially wonderful villain." --Richmond Times-Dispatch"Mixed Blood is an unnerving thrill ride that kept me on edge from beginning to end. The set-up is terrific and the bad guy is really bad - but so are the good guys. Mixed Blood is a top notch debut thriller and I'm looking forward to Roger Smith's next book." --Phillip Margolin, author of Executive Privilege"Smith does an outstanding job of bringing Cape Town to life, taking us through the twists and turns of the local criminal world and the confusing labyrinth of racial identity in post-apartheid South Africa. His prose is crisp and efficient ... [with a] fascinating and vividly conjured location." --Kirkus Reviews"A gripping thriller that follows believable (if sometimes grotesque) characters along a desperate rush to ruin. Highly recommended." --Library Journal"Smith offers a gritty tale of corruption and vengeance set in South Africa in his absorbing debut ... Smith's taut prose bodes well for future thrillers from his pen." --Publishers Weekly"[A] well-told, brutal tale.... Riveting." --The Roanoke Times"Startling, vivid, frightening. A first-rate debut from an up-and-coming talent." --Eric Van Lustbader, author of First Daughter and The Bourne Sanction"Smith's characters fight for their lives against a Cape Town heavy with heat, grime, corruption, and gang violence. With its shattering sense of place and satisfying plot twists, this book will grip you from page one." --Chelsea Cain, author of Heartsick and Sweetheart