click here).The reason I revisit the question now, is that van den Berg's acclaimed novel NOBODY DIES (which was also rated one of the top 5 thrillers of 2004, globally, by the New Zealand Herald), is now readily available to international readers for the first time; you can now download NOBODY DIES for the 'why the hell wouldn't you?' price of US$1.99 from Smashwords (
I understand that van den Berg will publishing a second novel in the near future, also in e-book format, which is great news. Just last year Stephen Stratford, the head of judges for the literary-fiction focused NZ Post Book Awards (our Kiwi equivalent of the Booker Prize or Australia's Miles Franklin Award), said in an article by Mark Broatch in the Sunday Star-Times that he was "still waiting for a new novel from Zirk van den Berg whose outstanding Nobody Dies came out in 2004".
Originally published by Black Swan Crime (a division of Random House), NOBODY DIES is a gripping thriller that opens with a bang; a renegade female detective executes a man in her custody.
Here’s the backcover blurb:
“Erica van der Linde has found the perfect way to make sure the witnesses in her police protection programme in Cape Town stay hidden. She kills them. As the criminals turned state witnesses have exited one life and not yet started another, there’s nobody to look for them.
But she hasn’t encountered anyone like Daniel Enslin before.
You’d hardly call him a criminal. An apathetic loner in a nothing job, Daniel gets his kicks by associating with Frank Redelinghuys, a dealer in all kinds of merchandise, unfettered by the normal rules of morality. But when Daniel witnesses Frank commit a murder, he feels compelled to do something about it.
at Smashwords. Complete with a new cover image (see right).
So now we can all find out what the reviewers were raving about seven years ago. I'm certainly looking forward to reading NOBODY DIES, and seeing whether I agree with Herald reviewer Michele Hewitson, who back in 2004 called the book "Edgy and truly frightening" and van den Berg's writing "superb".
Have you read NOBODY DIES? Who do you think is New Zealand's best thriller writer - back then, or now? Do you like crime fiction set in South Africa? Comments welcome.