Jeanette "Astute Crabbist"'s Reviews > A Beautiful Place To Die

A Beautiful Place To Die by Malla Nunn
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's review
Apr 14, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: all-fiction, africa, miss-trees, four-star-fiction
Read in April, 2010

Malla Nunn writes with such a sure and steady hand that it's hard to believe this is a first novel. She really knows how to string you along with the mystery, keeping you reading as the secret lives of the characters are slowly revealed.

The mystery itself is excellent, but the intimate look at rural apartheid in South Africa is equally as interesting, if not more so. The story takes place in 1952, shortly after the National Party has enacted very strict new segregation laws. It's against the law for whites and blacks to even touch each other. The murder of an Afrikaner police captain leads to an investigation that ultimately reveals the depravity of those who believe they are ordained and favored by God. They see this as entitlement to take what they want from those not favored. Their whiteness makes them virtually immune to the consequences of their actions. Or does it?

I'm looking forward to the second book in the Emmanuel Cooper series. My copy of this first one has a teaser with the first few pages of the second one, so I'm all primed up and ready to keep reading!
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Reading Progress

04/17/2010 page 210
56.3% "Rural South Africa, early 1950s. Really interesting look at apartheid, and a great mystery as well."

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