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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Random Violence (Jade de Jong #1) by Jassy Mackenzie

Random Violence (Jade de Jong, #1)
In Johannesburg prosperous whites live in gated communities; when they exit their cars to open the gates, car-jackings are common. But seldom is the victim killed, much less shot twice, like Annette Botha. Piet Botha, the husband of the wealthy woman, is the primary suspect in his wife's murder.

P.I. Jade de Jong fled South Africa ten years ago after her father was killed. Now back in town, she offers to help her father's former assistant, Superintendent David Patel, with his investigation of this case. Under apartheid, Patel, of Indian descent, could
never have attained his present position. But he is feeling pressure from his "old line" boss with respect to this investigation and fears lingering prejudice is at work.

As Jade probes into this and other recent car-jacking cases, a pattern begins to emerge, a pattern that goes back to her father's murder and that involves a vast and intricate series of crimes for profit.
Summary & Cover taken from
Length: 336 pages (Hardcover)
Available Formats: Print/E-book
Publication Date: April 1st 2010 by Soho Crime
About a year ago I stumbled across the Jade de Jong series but it took me until a couple weeks ago to finally get around to reading the first novel in the series a try. I'm always on the look out for great South African authors and I have to say Jassy Mackenzie is a new favourite of mine.
Random Violence was a fast past intricate novel with a wonderful female sleuth as the lead character. Jade de Jong returns to her homeland of South Africa after 10 years away working all over the globe. Upon her return she's met with all the changes that have happened in her country including in the lives of the one person she cares about the most.
I loved the mystery behind the slue of murders that seem to be occurring as well as the relationship between Jade and David who was once her father's right hand man and her best friend. I really enjoyed seeing the ups and downs as they got used to be around one another again after such a long time apart as well as seeing how much respect they had for one another. I have to say that Jade and David are probably two of my favourite crime solving partners after reading Random Violence. Both are intelligent, witty and savvy and they both have different skills plus the chemistry between them is great.
I thought that the fact that the author also took the time to touch briefly on the political background of the country post-apartheid with the referral of David's "old line" boss. I think that it was an important touch especially for the readers who aren't really versed in the history of the country and it plays a rather large part in the novel because of the actions and histories of individual characters mostly those of the bad guys.
I was very surprised at how enjoyable Random Violence was as strange as it might sound it was a fun read because Jassy Mackenzie kept me on my toes. There were far more plot twists that I had expected and many of them didn't even become obvious until the the end when everything came together and I was left with my jaw on the floor in shock.
Overall, I thought the writing was fantastic. The author used a perfect balance of drama, action, intrigue, deception and plot twists to create a wonderfully well written who dun it novel. In a genre that is still very much male dominated Jassy Mackenzie makes sure that her unique voice is heard and for me her gift in the genre was very well received by me. Everything fit together so well and the way she wove the story in such subtle ways sometimes was amazing and I can't wait to read the second book in the series. As first novels go Jassy Mackenzie's Random Violence is a hit and has earned a place on my favourite's shelf.
I would highly recommend Random Violence to everyone who enjoys a mystery set in a foreign country. I think the fact that it is written by a South African writer and takes place in South Africa is a unique offering in the mystery genre and the story is one that you can get wrapped up in and is a great way to expose yourself to a new writer and a new series in a place you may never have had a book take place in before.
Loved It!
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1 comment:

  1. I really like the cover of the book. Well writtten review. :) The book sounds interesting, with a international flare


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