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The October Killings (Yudel Gordon #4)

3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  146 ratings  ·  64 reviews
Abigail Bukula was fifteen years old when her parents were killed in a massacre of antiapartheid activists by white apartheid security forces. Because a young soldier spoke up in her defense, she was spared. Now she’s a lawyerwith a promising career in the new government, and while she has done her best to put the tragedy behind her, she’s never forgotten Leon Lourens, the...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published January 18th 2011 by Minotaur Books (first published December 31st 2009)
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Julia Mukuddem
another riveting story by my new favourite south african author. loved the plot and the twists.

i'm not reading the books in sequence - hope it doesn't give too much away, but so far it hasn't. definitely reading the one that comes after this one.
Beth


October 21, 1985

“The convoy stayed in the shadow of the hillside until after darkness had fallen. By the time the ten armored personnel carriers started moving, the trees on the far side of the valley had long faded into poorly defined shadows….Like most nineteen-year-olds of his time and culture, Leon was a patriot. He knew that, if need be, he was willing to die to defend his country.”

Abigail Bukula was fifteen-years-old when the white apartheid security forces crossed into Lesotho and attacke...more
Kirstin
This was a compelling story written in a peculiar fashion. We were obviously supposed to sympathize with the some of the characters, but the writing style made them so distant and impersonal that it was difficult to really care about them. Abigail was an odd mix of strong, powerful, modern woman, and a take on the 1950's ideal. Robert was her distant but lovable husband. Yudel's character hit the mark; he was supposed to be the eccentric, unfathomable psychiatrist and his character came off the...more
Dionisia
I was lucky enough to receive an advance uncorrected proof of "The October Killings" via the Goodreads First Reads program. The minute I began reading I knew I was in for a treat. Wessel Ebersohn succeeded in pulling me in from the very first line and by the end I simply could not put it down.

From the start, Abigail Bukula and Yudel Gordon make an unlikely pair. As the story progresses, Ebersohn ratchets up the tension as Abigail and Yudel work to uncover who is responsible for a series of murde...more
Dawn
This book was such a waste of time and it really makes me tired of these stories with a so-called heroine who is supposedly tough and headstrong but it turns out they're so weak you wonder if the writer even made an effort or if it was meant to be a joke. The main character was so poorly written that it's really just another reason why old white men have no business writing characters of young black woman.
Wendy
This takes place about fifteen years after Apartheid. While the mystery is average, the depiction of South Africa is fascinating. This new government is still struggling with the political correctness of interracial relations. You have the upper class of blacks and whites living in secure dwellings that are almost like fortresses protecting themselves from the the reality outside. You have whites from the old regime trying not to do or say anything stupid that would jeopardize their positions. I...more
Nicole
south african setting about 10 years after the end of apartheid. i liked the characters and in particular the setting as i don't often read books set in south africa.
Anna
An advance reader copy, won from goodreads.

I'm always searching for new interesting authors of thrillers, detectives and mysteries - ideally from other parts of the world than where I've lived or know anything about. This is the first one by Ebersohn I've ever read it, and I quite enjoyed it. I can see Abigail and Yudel working together with other (future) mysteries easily.

The two good characters in this book (and I guess in a series) are Abigail Bakula, a black woman working for the government...more
Meneesha Govender
Wessel Ebersohn, according to his mother, has been writing since he was eight years old.

However, like most novelists, his career began in another field. He trained and qualified as an engineer, and began working for the Post Office (now Telkom) but continued writing.

He published his first novel in 1979.

The background to most of his fiction from the late 1970s until the early 1990s was apartheid South Africa. While he and his wife, Miriam, were not activists, they were very closely involved in th...more
Sue
A first reads give away--thank you GoodReads!

I really liked this book. I admit I was a little afraid that I'd be overwhelmed with language, but that wasn't the case. There is plenty, but it works in context and it's not impossible. Wessel Ebersohn crafted a great story and makes you feel like you understand the area and the people.

It's a good story, with very, very interesting characters. It started a little slowly, but in a way it reminded me of watching a foreign film so it just seemed to make...more
Brandon
South African government official Abigail Bukala and prison psychologist Yudel Gordon have six days in which to find and apprehend a killer named Michael Bishop, who has been murdering the ex-members of a convoy which massacred a group of government activists twenty years ago. The target for the next killing--which happens every year on the anniversary of the raid--is Leon Lourens, who saved Bukala's life that night during the raid. He comes to her for help, which propels Bukala to revisit her t...more
Lynn Harnett
Abigail Bakula heads up the gender desk in South Africa’s Justice Department in 2005 and her husband is a prominent newspaper editor. But when a hero’s name surfaces at work, she’s plunged right back to the night 20 years before when she, age 15, watched her father die in a raid on an ANC safe house.

When a frightened white man, Leon Lourens, comes to see her in fear for his life and tells her that members of the apartheid-government security squad present that night are being ritually executed o...more
Stephen
A fascinating story of the post-Apartheid era. Abigail Bukula, a lawyer in the new Government is forced to face the past in the form of ex-soldier, Leon Lourens. When a raid on her village caused the deaths of many residents,including her parents, Lourens risked his career to save Abigail, then only 15. And now Lourens appears at her government office begging her for help.
It seems one by one, members of Lourens unit are being murdered on the anniversary of the raid on Maseru. Bukula can't turn...more
Bridget
Woohoo! I won this in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. Can't wait to get my copy and start reading.

** 3.5 Stars ** - The further I read into this book, the more I liked it. The author really ramped up the suspense in the last half of the book. I think I would have liked the book more if the novel included a preface or introduction explaining African history during the time period in which the plot was set. I searched google and found what I needed to get a better understanding of the events tha...more
Sherilyn
I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

The book was set in South Africa in 2005 and refers back to events taking place in 1985 during aparthied. Primary characters and unlikely partners in crime investigation are - Abby, a black Lawyer and child of assasinated anti-apartheid activists now working for the government, and Yudel a semi-retired eccentric prison Psychologist who had worked for both apartheid and post-apartheid governments.

I found myself comparing this book to th...more
Elli
I don't want to put in any hint of a spoiler. This is a novel of recent South Africa after the government has reorganized and been reorganized for a while. What would you do if you were successful black woman who was a rising young career employee in a responsible government position, happily married to same...and someone from the past came by asking for help. Seems someone might be killing all the members of a security task force from the former government...in which the young lady's parents we...more
Rebecca Martin
Hmm, not as good as I thought it would be. The setting is new to me, but details of landscape and environmental atmosphere are not exploited for what they might add to the story. The politics are hard to keep straight, but that's the point of this look into pre- and post-Apartheid history. The main thing I minded is that the device of keeping the deep dark secret that the protagonist won't tell anyone throughout most of the novel is all too obvious. We keep being told that she can't say it yet a...more
Lauren
This was a good South African crime novel. It felt very realistic (as realistic as it can be to a person who has never been to Africa) and had a decent amount of suspense. The main character was described in a review to the "the sharpest and most determined sleuth in international crime fiction" but I disagree. It isn't her job to hunt down criminals, and she seems pretty regular. But that's why I really liked her because she did every single thing in her power to help someone. She enlisted the...more
Ashland Mystery Oregon
In the aftermath of apartheid, Abigail Bukula has been fast tracked into the new government as the Director of Gender Affairs. Her family sought change through reform and education, but were killed under orders of the anti-apartheid regime shortly before it's dissolution. Bukula has secrets and memories that are revealed as the old crimes surface. Good dialogue, characters well drawn, realistic presentation of post-apartheid allegiences and complex politics of the time. The mystery drives the na...more
Dana Stanton
The first chapter had me hooked, but the rest of the book wasn't as good. The look at the struggle to overthrow Apartheid rule and the aftereffects was very interesting though.
Carmen
What really made this book for me was the language used. "Dipsloot had started as a sudden explosion of wood and iron shacks on the open veld" "in this days, tragedy was present here in an even starker form" there were many, but of course I forgot to mark the pages. This is the story of a young black woman in South Africa who is trying to save a white man who had saved her in the time of troubles. I enjoyed reading a book describing how things were not all black and white, not all whites were ba...more
Lori Tatar
This is a great story with a wonderful heroine and a diabolical antagonist, both of whom are richly illustrated, yet remain intriguing with certainly more for the reader to learn what makes them tick. Other characters lend great support. I am anxiously awaiting what I presume will be the next book in this series, and sincerely hope the individuals from "The October Killings" will play no small role in the future dramas...both the good guys and bad. Take a twisty, turny unexpected ride with Wesse...more
P
I won this book in a First Reads giveaway and I'm so glad that I did. What an exciting read! The characters were so interesting and well developed--I enjoyed Abigail's strength and her vulnerability as well as Yudel's wisdom and eccentricities. Bishop is a haunting personality, and I couldn't help but admire Freek. The plot was intricate and full of twists. The unique setting was facinating to me; I enjoyed learning something about recent South African history. This was a page turner from the st...more
Stephanie
I'm not a fan of (I guess this could be called a) police procedural, but when the setting in another country, my convictions waver. My love of the exotic is unquenchable, the book jacket spoke of a South African setting, my curiosity thus aroused... my hands made the choice... and soon I was walking away from the library with a new adventure. I'm glad I did, it was a well plotted story set against the violent, racially divided background of pre- and post-apartheid South Africa.
Jaime Lee
The premise of this book had me really intrigued when I read the back cover blurb. I thought it would be an interesting storyline with a lot of suspense. I was very, very wrong. I haven't been this disappointed in a novel for quite a while.

The plot was slow and boring. The characters were dry and unappealing. And I've never read any thriller where I've cared less about the outcome as I did while reading this book. All I could think about was when it would finally end!
Cjlangner
Interesting crime story set in South Africa after apartheid. The story unfolds with Abigail Bukula as a main character. At fifteen, she was a survivor of a raid by white apartheid security forces where her family was killed. The story looks at the good and bad on both sides, how things can look one way and be another. Well written and interesting since I had visited both Johannesburg and Cape Town, so could picture some of the places in the book.
Richard
Feb 19, 2011 Richard rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery lovers; people who want a change of scenery or a woman hero.
Recommended to Richard by: I read a review.
This South African mystery is well told with a good sense of time and place. Starting in 1985 during the bad old days of apartheid, and ending 20 years later when there is an uneasy truce between blacks and whites someone is killing the policemen who murdered a number of black agitators in an illegal cross-border raid.

Suspense and tension are very real during the search for a kidnapped former policeman, one of two survivors.
Amiee
This book was a bookclub read. Overall, I thought it left a lot of "loose ends". We spent a lot of time on characters but yet still didn't have resolutions. It was very interesting to look into post-Apartheid South African and see that some of the same problems are still there...but it wasn't a deep enough look.

There was a cute story about Mandela about the end that made me smile though!
Rosanna
How South Africa has blended the apartheid regime with the new ANC government is one of the many themes in this book.It is quite a thrillling murder mystery and we see the cooperation between the old and new,The heroine is a young black executive who must reach out to some police and others who were part of the apartheid era.She has a life to save and uses all resources she has.
Naomi
I picked this book to read because the story was based in South Africa. It concerns a young black woman who had been saved by a white soldier from death during the revolution in this country. She has the opportunity to return the favor. Her frantic search is the basis of the story. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had more knowledge of the life of people in South Africa.
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