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Let The Dead Lie (Detective Emmanuel Cooper, #2)
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Let The Dead Lie (Detective Emmanuel Cooper #2)

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  734 Ratings  ·  143 Reviews
The second in a crime series set in 1950's South Africa when apartheid laws were first introduced.
ebook, 400 pages
Published April 20th 2010 by Atria Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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Hidden between two boxcars in the freight yards of Durban Harbour, Emmanuel Cooper could see the lights of a docked cruise ship across the water. The fact that he was doing night surveillance work for his old boss, Major van Niekerk after having to resign his Detective Sergeant position when his previous case went horribly wrong, made him realize how low his life had tumbled. But even though the words of his boss – do not intervene; do not show yourself – rang in his head, when he heard sounds o ...more
Jun 13, 2015 Carolyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this second in Malla Nunn's Emmanuel Cooper series. Not only has Emmanuel had to give up his job as a police detective and moved to Durban but he has been reclassified from white to mixed race. He has had to take a lowly paid job on the Durban docks but is putting in some overtime doing contract surveillance work for his old boss Major van Niekerk. When he comes across a murdered boy down at the docks he is given 48h to find his murderer or be arrested and charged with the crime himsel ...more
Helene Young
Let the Dead Lie, by Malla Nunn, is set in 1953 in Durban, South Africa, with World War 2 as a bleak backdrop. I’ve always had a fascination with Africa as a whole and have devoured stories by Wilbur Smith, Beverly Harper, Tony Parks, Katherine Scholes and a recent find, Margie Orford so I was predisposed to like it.

From the back cover : ‘In Let the Dead Lie, Cooper is a changed man. Forced to resign from his position of Detective Sergeant and re-classified as mixed race, he winds up powerless a
Lewis Weinstein
Malla Nunn has created a fast-past exciting crime story set in Durban, South Africa. This is the 2nd in a series (there are now 4) featuring Inspector Emmanuel Cooper struggling in the early stages of an emerging apartheid world. Nunn handles a multiplicity of characters deftly, without confusing the reader, and her ability to sustain an action sequence is impressive. Many of the characters could be (and probably are) continued in subsequent novels.

Nunn's questions for discussion and her own in
Malla Nunn is my new literary crush. While not perfect, this second Emmanuel Cooper novel delivers. Nunn is great on place: now I have to go to Durban. And she so well describes the darkness and chaos that must be part of any city's underground, and Cooper is the perfect noir hero. Nunn is the scribe of sadness and loss. In this venture Cooper has lost his detective card and is working under cover in Durban, South Africa investigating police officers for the morally ambiguous Major van Neikerk. ...more
Detective Emmanuel Cooper has lost his job, but not his passion. Working ostesibly as a nightwatchman at the Durban docks in South Africa, he is moonlighting for his former boss, Major von Niekirk when a young slumdweller/gofer dies from a slashed throat. Befriending a working girl, with a myriad of underworld contacts, Cooper is arrested for the murder and then released for 48 hours to solve the crime and bring those responsible to justice.
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
Let the Dead Lie is the exciting second novel from Malla Nunn featuring Detective Emmanuel Cooper series, following on from A Beautiful Place To Die. This crime series, set in Southern Africa in the 1950's, has a gritty, dark realism that explores the political and social system of the period.
Detective Emmanuel Cooper is working on the docks in the port city of Durban having been forced to resign his position and accept a reclassification as 'mixed race' after the events in Jacob's Rest. Despit
Apr 18, 2010 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second Detective Sergeant Emmanuel Cooper book LET THE DEAD LIE has now been released, following on the from highly praised A BEAUTIFUL PLACE TO DIE.

LET THE DEAD LIE takes Cooper into different physical circumstances, working in a very bleak city, doing menial labour and nightly surveillance work, there's a sense of loss and depression surrounding him. This rapidly changes to desperation as he is implicated in further murders and has a limited time, and difficult circumstances in which to cl
Dec 16, 2010 Lois rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This suspenseful novel from award-winning author Malla Nunn is taut and tightly paced. Set in 1953 in South Africa, a country that surrounds Nunn’s country of birth, Swaziland, the detective novel masterfully blends all elements that are required in such a text. Whether it is read as a sequel to Nunn’s impressive debut novel, A Beautiful Place to Die, or by itself matters little, but that it is most definitely worth reading by anyone interested in the detective genre is a cert.

The action in Let
Jan 05, 2012 Judy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery lovers
Let the Dead Lie takes the reader to post-WW I South Africa. Emmanuel Cooper, a recently re-classified former detective, finds himself doing surveillance work for his former army officer, Major van Niekerk. Emmanuel's problem of helping others in trouble and curiosity land him in a world of trouble in this mystery novel.

Its been a while since I read a mystery, so this was a pleasant change of pace. If I read mysteries more often, I wouldn't have given this the 3.5 stars that I have because most
Diane Brown
I did not read the first of the books in this series. Perhaps I should have done so first to get a better handle on the Detective - and understand his character more.

This story takes place in Durban South Africa during apartheid South Africa. It is about a detective who has to solve a murder case on the docks in a limited time period

Nunn unfolds the case well and I found myself eager to find out what happened next

It attempts to deal with race and classification. I think this area could have bee
Carla Ford
May 18, 2010 Carla Ford rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having thoroughly enjoyed the first novel by the same author, I was looking forward to this one, and I wasn't disappointed. As a matter of fact, this one was easier to read because I had already learned so much about the race classifications for this era in South Africa from the first novel. The main character, Emmanuel, is wonderful, and such a good guy that it is easy to get caught up in the solving of the mystery. The plot takes so many twists and turns that it isn't possible to guess the out ...more
I listened to this as an audiobook and it’s always enjoyable to listen to Humphrey Bower. It was also good to read more of Detective Sergeant Emmanuel Cooper’s story. Unfortunately I was a bit distracted when I was listening at the end, so although I got the idea of what happened, the details are a bit sketchy, but I wasn’t worried enough to go back and listen to the last half hour or so again, and that is all entirely my fault and not the author’s!! 3.5★
Anne Forrest
The second in this series of crime novels set in South Africa in the 1950's.Great detective work, fast moving plot, set again the political & social issues of that time.Once again read beautifully by the talented Humphrey Bower.
Apr 05, 2014 Sandy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this second novel of Malla Nunn. It is very interesting to see a glimpse of what life was life in an aphartheid era. Detective Emmanuel Cooper is a complex character, very easy to like. His character has continued on from the debut novel "A Beautiful Place to Die".
Dec 01, 2016 Gail rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't see the outcome in advance - that's always a good thing as formulaic writers become boring eventually. the writer is very evocative of the period the story is set in, and progresses her plot at a good pace. However, I think I enjoyed 'A Good Place to Die ' somewhat more. Worth a read.

Oct 14, 2016 Sheila rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Emmanuel is undercover and while undercover witnesses the murder of a young boy in South Africa.
Emmanuel Cooper ist als weißes Ghettokind in Johannesburg aufgewachsen. 1953, Jahre nachdem er für das Britische Empire in Europa im Zweiten Weltkrieg gekämpft hat, konnte der Kriegs-Veteran und Ex-Polizist im Südafrika der Apartheids-Politik noch nicht wieder Fuß fassen. Seit den Ereignissen in Jacob's Rest (Ein schöner Ort zu sterben) ist weniger als ein Jahr vergangen. Cooper hat aufgrund seiner offenen Kritik an der Parteilichkeit der südafrikanischen Polizei seinen Job als Ermittler verlore ...more
Let the Dead Lie is set in 1950s port town of Durban, South Africa where former Detective Emmanuel Cooper is dealing with the aftermath of inflaming the Security Branch in A Beautiful Place to Die. With no police badge and a different race identification card, Cooper now works undercover in the Victory Shipyards doing surveillance for his former boss, Colonel Van Niekerk.

When Emmanuel discovers the dead body of a ten-year old white errand boy, he cannot let the crime go even though he know it wi
Oct 04, 2010 Spuddie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
#2 Emmanuel Cooper mystery set in 1950's South Africa. Cooper, forced to resign from the police force due to the machinations of enemies in the Security Branch resulting from events in the first book, is now working the docks in Durban as a laborer--he's also had his race classification changed to 'mixed-race' which limits his opportunities. While he is doing his regular job he is also working a side job undercover trying to ferret out police corruption for his old boss, Major van Niekirk, who h ...more
Another superb outing in Nunn's series about a detective constable with a conscience - a bad combination in 1950s South Africa where the possession of a white skin and the right papers are paramount factors in one's freedom of movement and action. Following the events of the previous novel in this series (A Beautiful Place to Die), Emmanuel Cooper is no longer a detective (and is not even any longer classed as white.) His enigmatic protector on the police force, Major van Niekerk, employs him un ...more
Kathleen Hagen
Let the Dead Lie, by Malla Nunn, a-minus, narrated by Saul Reichlin, produced by Recorded Books, downloaded from

This book, her second in the series involving Detective Cooper in South Africa, has a prologue and epilogue which date back to Cooper’s time in the war, and the finding of the body of a French prostitute, and his help in finding the killer rather than spending his relaxation time in bed with a girl. In the main part of the book, he is no longer a policeman because of the e
May 23, 2012 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, south-africa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rob Kitchin
Jan 11, 2015 Rob Kitchin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let the Dead Lie is the second book in Malla Nunn’s series set in 1950s South Africa. The strength of the story is the characterisation, its historical contextualisation, and atmosphere and sense of place. Emmanuel Cooper is an intriguing character, a kind of nowhere man that belongs to no community, but somehow manages to straddle both white and black worlds. He is surrounded by other conflicted and flawed characters that are all well penned. The tensions and shifting social and legal landscape ...more
Apr 15, 2010 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
The early part of this book is hard reading mainly because it is so uncomfortable to see the hero of Nunn's previous book, A Beautiful Place to Die, in such different circumstances, stripped of his Detective's Badge and reclassified as non-white. Not a big deal? In 1950's South Africa it changes everything for Emmanuel Cooper. Cooper is nonethless drawn in to a new murder investigation and quickly becomes a suspect on the run in the racially mixed streets of Durban. Cooper does eventually come t ...more
"Let the Dead Lie: A Novel","Malla Nunn"
"This book was a sequel to A Beautiful Place to Die, which was one of my favorite books this year. It continues the adventures of Emmanuel Cooper. In the first book he was investigating a murder of a police chief in a small settlement in 1952. That book got into the hearts and minds of the various ethnic and cultural groups at the beginning of apartheid.
Now Cooper has been dismissed from his job as police detective and has lost his status as a white man
Aug 08, 2010 Lydia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy this writer's books, not only because they are well written mysteries, but also because of the setting. She herself is a black South African and sets her stories in 1950s South Africa. It's interesting to read about the intersection of culture and how people were categorized then: black, white, nonwhite (ie, Indian, mixed race) and how they must live with each other based on the law of race distinction. The laws of apartheid are familiar to us in their similarity to "Jim Crow" laws, but ...more
Oct 29, 2013 Lars rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, africa
'Let the Dead lie' is the second case of Detective Emmanuel Cooper who is living in 1950s South Africa. While the first story took place in the African countryside, the second investigation is happening in Durban. Malla Nunn manages very well to describe the bustling atmosphere of the dubious harbor city in a country where racial segregation is implemented more and more ruthlessly. But without being able to give a precise reason, I have to say that I preferred the vivid and scenic descriptions o ...more
I quite enjoyed A Beautiful Place to Die, the first book in a 1950s South Africa-set series, featuring mixed-race detective Emmanuel Cooper, so I'm not sure why it took me so long to seek this sequel out. It turns out to be every bit as good, featuring load of interesting historical details about the places and people. This one is set in the port city of Durban, where Cooper is working undercover among the docks. One night he stumbles across the body of dead white boy, and faces a ticking clock ...more
Andrew Neal
Nov 18, 2012 Andrew Neal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an excellent sequel. The main character was forced into a completely different setting and situation than he experienced in the first book, which gave us yet another look at Apartheid in 1950's South Africa.

The only thing which made it less than perfect for me was the (view spoiler)
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Afro Book Club: Let the Dead Lie -- Book Discussion 29 20 May 01, 2014 05:02AM  
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Malla Nunn grew up in Swaziland before moving with her parents to Perth in the 1970s. She attended university in WA and then in the US. In New York, she worked on film sets, wrote her first screenplay and met her American husband to be, before returning to Australia, where she began writing and directing short films and corporate videos. Fade to White, Sweetbreeze and Servant of the Ancestors have ...more
More about Malla Nunn...

Other Books in the Series

Detective Emmanuel Cooper (4 books)
  • A Beautiful Place to Die (Detective Emmanuel Cooper, #1)
  • Blessed Are the Dead  (Detective Emmanuel Cooper #3)
  • Present Darkness (Detective Emmanuel Cooper, #4)

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