Sunday, April 3, 2011

Currently reading: MIXED BLOOD by Roger Smith

I've been doing a lot of reading the first three months of this year, but I am a little behind in my reviewing. And my reading choices have been a little constrained too - along with reading new New Zealand books and upcoming or recently released books for some newspaper columns and in preparation for feature interviews with the likes of Robert Crais, Peter Corris, Michael Connelly, and Henning Mankell, I am also participating in Dorte Jakobsen's excellent 2011 Global Reading Challenge.

For one of my 'Africa' crime novels for the expert level of the challenge, I have now started reading a book from a 'new-to-me' author, Roger Smith. I've heard some very good things about Smith's writing, so when I saw a new copy of MIXED BLOOD on a discount table at Whitcoulls a couple of weeks ago, I couldn't resist grabbing it.

Here's the short blurb for MIXED BLOOD: "An American, hiding out in Cape Town, South Africa, after being blackmailed into a bank heist back home, is building a new life for his pregnant wife and young son, when an incident of random violence sets him on a collision course with street gangs and a rogue cop who loves killing almost as much as he loves Jesus Christ."

Smith was born in Johannesburg, and now lives in Cape Town. Before becoming a crime writer, he was a screenwriter, producer and director. MIXED BLOOD was his debut novel, and was published in the US and Germany in 2009. It won the Deutschen Krimi Preis 2010 in Germany and has been nominated for a Spinetingler Best Novel award. His second book is WAKE UP DEAD. According to Smith's website, GreeneStreet Films (NYC) is developing the movie version of MIXED BLOOD – scheduled to start shooting in Cape Town in 2011 – starring Samuel L. Jackson, with Phillip Noyce directing.

Have you read MIXED BLOOD or WAKE UP DEAD? Do you like South African-set crime fiction? Are you participating in the 2011 Global Reading Challenge? If so, what African novels have you chosen? Thoughts welcome.


  1. Craig - Thanks for your "thus far" comments on Mixed Blood. I haven't read it yet, but I do like South African crime fiction. I'll be interested in reading your final review of this...

  2. Craig, Mixed Blood is the book that fired my interest in South African crime fiction. If you like Roger's style then you'll also want to read Wake Up Dead which I think is even better.

    Be sure to do a Google search on the gatsby sandwich and look at a picture of one. It will make you appreciate the character Gatsby even more.

  3. Craig - Thanks for the info about a new-to-me authot. As for your question I've Deon Meyer's Devil's Peak TBR for the Global Reading Challenge. Have to get hold of a second African book yet, probably I'm interested in an early Yasmina Khadra, from The Argel Trilogy.

  4. I read and thoroughly enjoyed both of Roger Smith's books. I can hardly wait for the next one.

  5. I've read Wake Up Dead and was bowled over by it. Deon Meyer is also a fantastic read.

  6. I read Meyer's BLOOD SAFARI for the GRC last year - liked it, but didn't love it like I expected to (given how many people had recommended Meyer to me). I will still read more from him though.

    I was flat tack busy with work over the weekend, so had very little time to read, but I still ripped through more than a third of MIXED BLOOD. Really enjoying it thusfar.

  7. I like Malla Nunn's books. She lived in Swaziland in a biracial family, subject to the heinous apartheid laws. Her family moved to Australia to escape this.
    Her books really give a feel for life under apartheid, and is very sympathetic and full of feeling.
    I liked Meyer's Thirteen Hours, not loved it. Great suspense, a good thriller.