Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Weeping Waters” as Want to Read:
Weeping Waters
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Weeping Waters

(Albertus Beeslaar #1)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  521 ratings  ·  75 reviews
Inspector Albertus Markus Beeslaar is a traumatized cop who has abandoned tough city policing and a broken relationship in Johannesburg for a backwater post on the edge of the Kalahari Desert. But his dream of rural peace is soon shattered by the repeated attacks of a brutally efficient crime syndicate, as he struggles to train and connect with rookie local cops, Ghaap and ...more
Kindle Edition, 512 pages
Published April 3rd 2018 by Europa Editions (first published 2009)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  521 ratings  ·  75 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Weeping Waters
Shannon M
This is called “Weeping Waters” in English, Plassmoord in Afrikaans. It is an excellent portrait of an Afrikaans farm in the post-apartheid era, although the killer is easily spotted about half-way through the book, so there is not much of a mystery.
Alison Smith
Jan 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anybody wanting to know the status of life in South Africa should read this crime novel - it's far more than 'just a crime novel'. It deals with post-colonial & post-apartheid legacies, the history of the Griquas, land claims by Bushmen (& others) persecution and murder of white farmers, right-wing feelings and actions. Plus there's the murder story, with a flawed - and very human detective - struggling with the inadequacies of life if a small town police station, badly equipped, understaffed .. ...more
This is a crime novel, set in South Africa, near Kalahari desert (close to the north borders).

What I liked about this book: the fact that it is set in South Africa. You get to learn about the big separation between white and black people. Many white farmers are being killed lately in South Africa by black people that claim that the land belongs to them. Racism and inequality is huge in South Africa and you get to see it in the book.

What I didn't like: it felt kind of incoherent. Some chapters en
Jul 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading the German Pb edition

Aug 6, 2016
ETA: As I'm still thinking about this book, I decided to up my rating. Obviously my niggles weren't too big:)

More like 3.5 stars
As I will return to South Africa for vacation soon, I was intrigued when I saw this book at one of my rare visits at a bookstore. The blurb sounded very interesting, so I bought it and couldn't wait to start reading.

It's a long book, with lots of stuff and facts about South Africa, tensions between races, historical and today. Th
An extremely well-written crime novel that involves a clever murder plot and set within a very complex society. Plaasmoord translates as farm murder from Afrikaans and is a very emotional subject in South Africa where the issue of land ownership and race is intricately related.

A women and young girl are gruesomely murdered on a farm in an area known as Griekwastad near the Kalahari desert. Historically there are a number of groups who have claims to the land in the area - the San, the Griekwas,
Whilst being a murder mystery this book's highlight was the focus on South Africa's various problems such as farm murders, land claims, right wing factions, inequality.
The other highlight was the two main characters - Inspector Beeslar who has serious panic attacks, few resources and a failed relationships and Sara the estranged sister of the main murder victim who is dealing with her failure to patch up her relationship. Plenty of flaws in the characters make them more real to me.
As a mystery
Thriller set in Bushmanland, SOUTH AFRICA

Weeping Waters is tense and gripping read set in Bushmanland in the Northern Cape of South Africa. Inspector Albertus Beeslaar is a somewhat disgraced and traumatised policeman from Johannesburg who is sent to a backwater post in the middle of nowhere. He expects a quiet and boring life, but doesn’t get it…

A farm owning lady (Freddie) is murdered in gruesome circumstances. Her sister (Sara) drives up from Cape Town – and meets Beeslaar who is leading the
Sarah Key
Dec 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Karin Brynard’s Weeping Waters was a chunky and entertaining read. Set in a Northern Cape town, surrounded by the thirsty farmlands of South Africa abutting the Kalahari, Brynard’s prose describes the unique landscape and farming lifestyle in a way that makes you taste the dust and feel the scorching heat.
A cast of varied characters are introduced to the reader as Sara Swarts returns to the family farm, Huilwater, after the brutal yet mysterious murder of her sister, Freddie. Sara’s unresolved
Elite Group
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Weeping Waters (Plaasmoord) heralds the arrival of a rising star on the South African crime fiction scene.

The dogmatic Inspector Beeslaar has settled in the Kalahari, in the hope of a more peaceful life. The big city is behind him now and he looks forward to quieter times. But an artist, Freddie Swarts, and her adopted daughter are murdered on their farm, near the desert. The volatile inspector has a spate of stock thefts to deal with, as well as training up his assistants, Ghaap and Pyl. Clear
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There have been a number of farm killings in the area, over recent times, blamed on stock thieves. Two farm workers had been brutally murdered just a fortnight before, their bodies discovered underneath the carcasses of sheep.

But this killing appeared to be different: a woman and a 4 year old girl, the bedroom chaotic as if someone had been searching for something.

Inspector Beeslaar has failed to find any clues about the stock thieves so far and local whites are asking for the reinstatement of c
Sally Anne
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
The mystery was good enough, but what really sold me on this book was the setting of South Africa. As I know so little of the place, it was fascinating.
Gail Gilbride Bohle
Loved this!

I'll be on the lookout for more of Beeslaar. He's crept into my radar and now I'm hooked.
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
This lengthy and complex work is so much more than a mystery, a mere whodunit. It does present more than one grisly, seemingly ritualistic, murder to be resolved; but throughout, it also reveals layer upon layer of the bloody history of South Africa. The consequences of that long and brutal history can be seen in the eruption of land greed and theft, superstitions and suspicions that keep people alienated and fearful, and long seething resentments of indigenous peoples as well as Afrikaners. Lit ...more
Jul 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
Set in small town South Africa, on the dry margins of the Kalahari desert Karin Brynard’s bleak police procedural dives deep into contemporary South African social issues. Opening with the brutal murder of a young white woman and the Khoi-San child she was adopting, everything, on the surface, looks like what was known as ‘farm murders’ – where the promised post-apartheid land reform came to nothing and anger and resentment was directed towards individual farmers. Yet this is too simple a soluti ...more
Estelle Haward
Dec 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A review by Estelle Haward

Weeping Waters is the honest, no-nonsense story of ordinary people and their small world shattered by stock theft, farm murders and the ripples these events causes. Set in the heart of the Kalahari, Weeping Waters is filled with the intricacies of living in Post-Apartheid South Africa, a microscopic cosmopolitan of far-right politics, politically correct appointments and ordinary people trying to survive. The heat of this inaccessible world burns through the pages. A wo
Aug 10, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm in many minds about this book. On the one hand it is exquisitely descriptive, it evokes a corner of my country that I love. When she writes I can feel the heat and dust and the wide open spaces stretching from heaven to here.
The detective story is well crafted, Inspector Beeslaar is created as a complex human being placed in a difficult position, whether to solve a murder or to bend to the political agenda of others. It's a good who-done-it. BUT the author had too many agendas. Some of the c
Mar 11, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent had me hooked from page 1. SA's own female Deon Meyer? And this was her debut novel. Well written looking forward to next one Onse Vaders ...more
Jan 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Very slow until the last 15% of the book, then I couldn’t put it down. Lots of South African history and culture. Hopefully Brynard will get even better with practice.
Sep 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Inspector Albertus Markus Beeslaar is new to his posting in a backwater town in farmland bordering the Kalahari Desert. A one-time big city cop in Johannesburg, he packed that all in for a quieter life after his life and career was waylaid by trauma. Now an outsider in this close-knit community, struggling with the oppressive heat, he is called to a farm where an artist and her daughter have been brutally murdered. The homicide comes at a time of rising tension in the area, a roving band of stoc ...more
Jul 08, 2021 rated it liked it
Some have pegged Karin Brynard as the “South African Stieg Larsson.” For good and not so good reasons, I can see why.

I’m not an expert on South Africa. I know the broad strokes of the fall of apartheid and how it functioned before the rise of President Mandela, but as far as how the country is adapting today, I’m mostly clueless. I have no doubt that a herrenvolk government doesn’t just switch to multicultural democracy overnight, and that South Africans are probably several generations away fro
Julie Griffin
Nov 30, 2020 rated it really liked it

A painter and her foster child are brutally murdered on an isolated farm in the Kalahari Desert of South Africa. Her sister, Sara, comes back to where she grew up to try to understand what happened between her and her estranged sibling. A new inspector just arrived from the metropolitan police in Johannesburg is at first convinced it is a farm killing, gruesome incidents still common in South Africa in the leftover hostilities of Apartheid and the conflicts between white landowners and the desce
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked this book very much. Set in South Africa, it had a somewhat disturbing storyline that involved the abject discrimination of people simply for their color. The mystery was well developed. Inspector Alburtus Beeslaar has recently transferred to the countryside from Johannesburg. He is a city boy who is having a lot of difficulty adjusting to the slower pace and the spiders (he hates spiders). A local woman, Freddie Swartz and her four year old foster child, Klara Boois, are found brutally ...more
Danny Cerullo
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Though it's set in South Africa, it's all too easy to recognize the relevance Weeping Waters has in America these days. I may be in the minority here but my favorite thing about a good crime novel is not the who-dun-it aspect, but the more terrifying mystery of how the characters will learn to live again in a world that has been shattered by violence. Karin Brynard brings us a novel that cares far more about the characters and the racial politics in South Africa than she does about solving any m ...more
Martin Turner
Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a fantastically written crime novel. As this was not originally on English I was a little wary as to how it might read in translation, but I was not to be at all disappointed. We are introduced to several interesting characters which I hope to return to as this is the first in a series featuring Inspector Beeslaar. An intriguing plot which sees several murders in the desert landscapes of South Africa. At over 500 pages it is so well constructed that the length of the book is forgotten as th ...more
Ann Armstrong
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed "Weeping Waters". I have not read many mysteries set in South Africa. Brynard does a good job setting the context in South Africa where the issues of race remain post-1994. The story is complex and nuanced. It is both a mystery and a study of the many challenges still facing South Africa.

As another reviewer noted, it would be great to have had a glossary as there many words from several of South Africa's languages that add colour but are unfamiliar to many readers.
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A more honest star rating would be 3.5 -- but I thoroughly enjoyed this meaty whodunnit. Book sprawls a little, as the author packs in the background research and red herrings a-plenty. A few translation oddities (I read the English, the book was originally in Afrikaans), but the characters are appealing, all too human, and the backdrop of the arid rural Northern Cape is beautifully rendered.
Robert Muller
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The suspense and character conflict in this book were so riveting to me that I could not put it down even though I guessed the murderer correctly about half way through--it didn't matter, the writing was so good. I also really appreciate the translators' leaving a lot of the Afrikaans words in the book, it makes it so much more real. I will be reading other books by Karin Brynard for sure. ...more
South Africa with its heat, racial unrest, livestock thefts and now murder. Add a white policeman, newly transferred in, with two black trainees and 500+ pages and I was pretty much as exhausted as they were.
I looked up six words in the first fifty pages and then gave up. It took me forever to read this book because it was so oppressive.
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Interesting mystery set in early years of post apartheid South Africa with white farmers on edge and cops in a remote village understaffed when murder happens on a farm. Good characters especially leads.
Zanna Hugo
Nov 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. The Afrikaans language is beautifully applied to build suspense, to create rapport and to describe the landscape, tragedy and misunderstanding that often accompanies this, such a relevant topic in our country today. Looking forward to more of this writer’s work.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Fever
  • 7 dae (Bennie Griessel, #3)
  • Abel se lot
  • The Last Hunt
  • Die Frequenz des Todes (Auris, #2)
  • Sewe-en-veertig
  • The Labyrinth
  • Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency
  • Act of Betrayal (Britt Montero, #4)
  • Hunting Badger (Leaphorn  & Chee, #14)
  • February's Son
  • Murder in Fernandina
  • You Only Die Twice
  • Out of Sight
  • Margin of Error (Britt Montero, #5)
  • Perestroika in Paris
  • Auris (Auris, #1)
  • Thirteen Hours (Benny Griessel, #2)
See similar books…
Karin Brynard’s crime novels have been published in Afrikaans, English, German, French and Dutch to great acclaim, having won the University of Johannesburg Debut Prize, two M-Net awards, and an ATKV prize for prose. Her most recent novel in Afrikaans, Tuisland, shot to the top of the bestseller list in the country when it was published in June 2016. Having worked as a journalist and political cor ...more

Other books in the series

Albertus Beeslaar (3 books)
  • Onse Vaders
  • Tuisland

News & Interviews

For hard-core book lovers, the month of December is a mixed blessing. Those relentless holiday obligations tend to cut into reading time....
28 likes · 2 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »