More than a decade after the end of Apartheid, ex-gun-runners Mace Bishop and Pylon Buso are trying to settle down to a comfortable Cape existence. But when an old contact calls in a favour, they become embroiled once again in the country's violent underworld of crime and corruption - and with the lethal Islamist organisation PAGAD. A gripping tale of narcotics, arms-dealing and international intrigue, PAYBACK heralds the arrival of a major new crime-writing talent.
Praises sung by.........
Read Mike Nicol now, before everyone else starts telling you how wonderful he is."
"Mike Nicol is the rapidly rising star of South African crime fiction. His novels have everything I love about the genre in just the right amount: shady characters, twists, turns, murder, mayhem, humour, wonderful dialogue, white-knuckle pace and lots of authentic Cape Town colour."
"South Africa joins the hard-boiled stakes, and in a wondrous dazzling humorous novel. Imagine Elroy joining forces with Chester Himes, Coffin Ed, and Gravedigger, throw in the spectacular landscape of South Africa, and you ll get some sense of this wild and daring novel. One prays this is the first in a series if Tom Sharpe wrote mystery, this would be it."
I had high hopes for this book when I bought it, yet again sucked in and seduced by the soothing, enticing, creamy, lyrical and lavishing praise bestowed upon it by fellow authors. We’ve all bought those books and after reading them been puzzled and slightly disappointed; pondering whether a slight lack of intellect has thwarted us and as a result obscured the true majesty of the magical prose we’ve just invested time and money in.
(I could ramble on about blurbs, back-scratching and sycophancy but I’d end up boring myself, let alone anyone else who may care to read this.) Suffice to say on this occasion the praise given is well deserved.
To the book.....absolutely top drawer, one of the best things I’ve read in the past couple of years. The main character is Mace Bishop, supported by his business partner Pylon Buso. One white, one black, and in a story set in post-apartheid Cape Town, initially I had a slight concern that it would turn into a pc-oriented tale of hope and harmony, that “ebony and ivory” to paraphrase Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder might be “living in perfect harmony” in the newly emerging Rainbow nation.
Nothing of the sort....... dodgy nightclubs, arms-dealing, dope fiends, bent police, gay-Italians, failing husbands and enough back story on Bishop and Buso that enriches the tale.........and one Sheemina February -a chilling, calculating adversary.
I won’t give away any more of the plot, but I would recommend this unreservedly to anyone with an interest in crime fiction. Fortunately for me there are two subsequent books in Nicol’s revenge trilogy that are still on mount TBR......Killer Country and Black Heart.
6 OUT OF 5!