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Random Violence (Jade de Jong #1)

3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  500 Ratings  ·  96 Reviews
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.
Paperback, 326 pages
Published April 19th 2011 by Soho Crime (first published 2008)
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James Thane
Lately there have been a number of crime novels set in South Africa and this is another. The protagonist is Jade de Jong, the daughter of a police commissioner. Jade's father was killed ten years earlier and in the wake of his death, Jade fled the country. Ten years later, the man convicted of killing her father is scheduled to be released from prison and Jade finally returns to confront him.

The country she finds is sharply divided by race and class. The whites who can afford to do so live in ga
Really, I picked this to read because of a recent interest in South Africa, not because I was that interested in the specific story or really wanted to read a crime novel. I wanted something with a modern, urban setting, I didn't want it to be too difficult or distracting to read; but I also wanted it to be somewhat educational about everyday life, culture and society in an part of the world I'm unfamiliar with, but really interested in learning about. Crime fiction is often the best fit for suc ...more
May 25, 2015 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having recently stumbled on Mackenzie's work, I was drawn to both the setting and the plot idea; a police procedural set in the new Johannesburg. Jade de Jong returns to South Africa after a decade's hiatus, armed with her P.I. license and a desire to confront the ghosts of her father's death. When de Jong is contacted by Superintendent David Patel, she's intrigued to learn about how she can help, as they forged a strong relationship while Patel served as Commissioner de Jong's Number Two. Every ...more
Jul 03, 2011 Jasmine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: zimbabwean
So Jassy mackenzie was born in rhodesia, after some google turns out rhodesia was never a recognized country and is now called zimbabwe so that explains that.

I haven't read a lot this week cause I've been reading the hobbit, and reading the hobbit and reading the hobbit... do you understand the point. the hobbit has stalled all of my reading because the hobbit is not good. I know I know tolkien is a genius and it's a classic. everytime I read it I read three pages and want o throw it across the
May 09, 2010 Bob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
An expert and surefooted first outing with a well drawn, grim South African backdrop. Strong characterizations and some terrific harrowing moments. I look forward to the further investigations of Jade De Jong.
Heather Pearson
Mar 22, 2012 Heather Pearson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Home comings are often portrayed as bittersweet, and Jade De Jong's return to Johannesburg, South Africa, after an absence of ten or so years, is no different. Shortly after her father, a police superintendent, was murdered, she fled the country, eventually working an assortment of private security and investigative jobs. Now she has returned and is looking for revenge.

It didn't take long for complications to arise. When her friend, the new Police Superintendent David Patel, picks her up at the
Oct 17, 2012 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jassy Mackenzie
With a main character named Jade, I expected this series to be light weight, a bit silly maybe. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to find a tight, well-written, gritty crime novel set in Johannesburg, South Africa. Jade is a private investigator whose policeman father was killed in the line of duty.
Jade returns to Jo’burg after 10 years in England. Her best friend from her life in South Africa, is police superintendent David Patel, now a grown man with a wife and
May 27, 2010 Trish rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, africa
Took a long 1-day roundtrip to NYC and managed to read this on the way. Fortunately, it did not have gratuitous violence, though one very clever but certifiable madman wreaked his share of havoc. The main characters could, perhaps, have used a little more fleshing out. I couldn't picture them well. And the author had the disconcerting habit of changing points of view for a chapter, but not often enough for it to be part of the book's style. Either we know what's going on in the character's mind ...more
Lissa Pete
Apr 29, 2016 Lissa Pete rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
I like mysteries, police procedurals etc. but what I love most is where they take place. This particular book takes place in South Africa and its very good. It's the first time I have read this author and had just picked it up and took a chance. I would read more books by Jassy Mackenzie.
Sep 11, 2012 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully plotted crime novel. Dark and disturbing, with a brilliant lead. Jo'burg and its surroundings are also vividly described - a very strong sense of place.
Heather Fineisen
Baby's face in scalding water ended it for me. Too many great series I already read to continue...
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
Bonnie Brody
Random Violence by Jassy Mackenzie is a debut mystery/thriller set in Johannesburg, South Africa. There is so much violence there that I don't know how people are able to live in that city. Almost everyone with money lives in a gated community with armed guards and those who don't have money have barred windows and look over their shoulders all the time in the hope that they won't get car-jacked or mugged. The city sounds like a war zone.

Jade de Jong is the protagonist; a private eye who has ret
Apr 13, 2011 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mackenzie thrills again with the next in the Jade De Jong series. Jade, a private detective has recently returned from self-exile in England after needing time to get her head together following her last caper.
She immediately falls back in not only with the criminal underworld informants she had cultivated, but also into a semi-partnership with police detective David Patel. Hoping to stay close to Patel in order to foster a romantic relationship, they find themselves at loggerheads, especially w
Jan 17, 2016 Mark rated it really liked it
Mackenzie thrills again with the next in the Jade De Jong series. Jade, a private detective has recently returned from self-exile in England after needing time to get her head together following her last caper.
She immediately falls back in not only with the criminal underworld informants she had cultivated, but also into a semi-partnership with police detective David Patel. Hoping to stay close to Patel in order to foster a romantic relationship, they find themselves at loggerheads, especially w
Gloria Feit
Mar 05, 2013 Gloria Feit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jade deJong , the headstrong protagonist of this terrific new novel, is a p.i. who has left her native South Africa, but following a ten-year absence has returned after, most recently, doing surveillance work in England. Her father, before his death, had been police commissioner in Johannesburg, described as a city filled with crime and brutality. The tale opens with the brutal murder of a young woman in what initially appears to have been an attempted carjacking, the first but hardly the last v ...more
Rachel Poynter
Mar 06, 2013 Rachel Poynter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I came along this series after I received an ARC for the 4th installment. I had read a bunch of reviews for this initial de Jong book and had mixed feelings about what to expect. Most were positive but many talked about the excessive violence and bad portrayal of South Africa. I had not previous read anything South African novels, nor had I even heard of Jassy Mackenzie, so all of these themes were new to me. The first quarter of the book took me longer to complete than I originally planned. For ...more
Eva Leger
Apr 27, 2011 Eva Leger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: b-fiction, thriller
I picked this up on a library trip and was very, very pleasantly surprised. The cover attracted my attention at first, the title second. The description interested me but left me wondering if I would actually like the story.
While I do read fictional "thrillers" at times it's not even close to being any of my main reading genres. Something pulled at me though so I brought it home with me. And like I said, I was very pleasantly surprised.
I'm left thinking about S. Africa, of which I know very li
Apr 27, 2012 Ronna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recommendations
This is the first book in the PI Jade De John, South African Mysteries. Daughter of the past murdered police commissioner, she is returning to the city of Johannesburg after being gone for ten years. She's returned to kill the paroled man who was convicted of her father's murder before she left. She also reconnects with Superintendent David Patel who used to be her father's assistant, and now wants her help with a present case. Though apartheid has ended, Patel's half Indian lineage still causes ...more
An ok read, but somewhat too violent for me. Although I do read lots of mysteries, I do not delight in the very graphic violent scenes and if an author is heading that way in a few titles of a series, I do tend to end our relationship. That said, I will give the Jade deJong series one or two more chances before abandonment.

Set in South Africa after the end of apartheid, this story does compel despite the above mentioned heinous violence. The characters are well sketched out, and one feels like r
Doug Bower
Jun 08, 2011 Doug Bower rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book on my kindle after seeing a post about it through the Kindle Daily Posts. What a find! The book takes place in South Africa and features PI Jade DeJong who has just returned to Johannesburg, South Africa after a decade away. She had grown up there, the daughter of the Police Commissioner, and was always interested in investigating crimes. After her father was murdered she left South Africa. Now that she has returned she is committed to taking her revenge on the person who killed ...more
Edith Parzefall
Feb 11, 2012 Edith Parzefall rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jade de Jong, a private investigator, left Johannesburg after her father was killed and returns when the man who likely ordered the murder is about to be released from prison. While waiting for her revenge, she hooks up again with her old friend David, now a police detective like her father. She agrees to help him with the investigation of what looks like an attempted carjacking gone wrong, leaving a woman dead. But there's nothing random about Annette's death. A chilling, highly intelligent psy ...more
William Cuthbertson
An intelligent, capable killer, an ethically shady P.I., and a setting in a newly integrated, economically challenged South Africa create excellent and believable tension in this series premiere. The crimes committed here are grizzly, but realistic enough to let the story avoid appearing like a film script disguised as a novel, the overarching plot is clever without resorting to cliche, and the novel's end is pitch perfect. Jade de Jong is a well-intentioned but flawed heroine, well-paired with ...more
Jul 24, 2014 Karin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm giving two stars because I actually enjoyed the mystery, however there was a long, slow build up, then everything at the end concluded in just a few pages....the ending felt VERY rushed. Almost like the author wanted to get in a certain number of pages, and once she hit her quota, she just ended it.

My other big complaint is the quality of the eBook version....random words in the middle of a line (and an average of three per page) were weirdly hyphenated (almost like in another version the wo
Jade de Jong is a private investigator assisting the Johannesburg police with an investigation. She's finally come home ten years after the tragic death of her father, who died while serving on the same police force. There have always been questions in Jade's mind about the circumstances surrounding his death and it's time for her to sort out the pieces. Meanwhile, she's also looking into the death of a local woman, which is the tiny thread that may unravel a very complicated puzzle.

This was a g
Apr 24, 2016 Susy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I binge listened to all four Jade DeJong novels last weekend. although I gave the first one a 3.5 by the time I finished all four the books were 4.5. fascinating settings (I love Deeon meyer) great action ..Jade knows how to be badass.. I want to grab her by the collar sometimes to hold her back.. nevertheless, she is a great PI in a big country with new money,russian mafia,racism on the beeoil, plenty of bad guys(some more lovable than others)and an on again off again love interest. The story n ...more
Oct 17, 2015 Jeanne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One thing I can say for sure - I never want to visit Johannesburg, South Africa. The world that author Jassy Mackenzie describes is a very scary place. Everyone lives behind electrified fences with killer guard dogs. When people are murdered, no one is surprised and they assume that it is a carjacking gone bad. Jade de Jong comes from that world. Her father was a police inspector who died tragically in a car wreck 10 years earlier. Jade left South Africa, but has now returned. She reconnects wit ...more
Marc Leroux
I picked up this book on the strength of Pale Horses which I had won in a Goodreads give-away program, and I'm glad that I did. The story centers on a PI who returns to South Africa after a 10 year absence. She had fled after her father, a former Police Commissioner, had been killed.
Jade returns to Johannesburg to kill the man who she believes was responsible for her father's death, and is about to be released from prison.
I found this to be a great read, partially because it brought back memorie
Apr 26, 2012 Annie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Jassy Mackenzie's "Random Violence" A most excellent 5 star read for this mystery lover!
Set in south Africa this thriller has a spunky heroine who, after her father is murdered under suspisious circumstances has fled her homeland only to comes back after 10 yrs. to reconnect with a lost love and avenge her fathers murder by killing the man she holds responsible. I Loved the descriptions of your country, the way you describe the places, people and strife of your home is very interesting, not to
Oct 08, 2009 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all who love a good thriller
Recommended to Mary by: Jassy
The seemingly random shooting of a Johannesburg woman stumps police superintendent David Patel and he turns to private investigator Jade de Jong for help. With an agenda of her own, Jade manages to solve the murder and at the same time expose a web of corruption and deceit.

In Jade, Ms Mackenzie has created a heroine who is both feisty and vulnerable and although not always loveable, one looks forward to reading more of her.

Random Violence is a first novel in that specialised branch of the thrill
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Goodreads Librari...: book cover correction 2 15 Jun 30, 2014 06:27PM  
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Jassy Mackenzie lives in Johannesburg, South Africa, and was inspired to write her first thriller, Random Violence, after being carjacked at gunpoint in her driveway.

She is the author of the Jade de Jong thriller series, featuring a feisty female PI who prefers to operate outside the law, and has also written four erotic romances.

Jassy loves horse riding, cycling, traveling, cooking and reading.
More about Jassy Mackenzie...

Other Books in the Series

Jade de Jong (5 books)
  • Stolen Lives (Jade de Jong, #2)
  • The Fallen (Jade de Jong, #3)
  • Pale Horses (Jade de Jong, #4)
  • Bad Seeds (Jade de Jong, #5)

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